Baltimore-based Novatec Inc. has begun the first U.S. manufacturing of the Infrared Rotary Drum dryer for PET resin.
The technology uses infrared radiation to dry and crystallize PET quickly in a single, continuous operation, dramatically cutting the time and energy that process requires.
Novatec announced Jan. 30 that it signed a licensing agreement with Stricker IRD Patent GbR in Vormwald, Germany, and UPM Holdings Ltd. of Berks, England.
Novatec is the only U.S. company authorized to build and market the IRD crystallizer/dryer. Novatec rolled out the IRD at NPE 2006, showing a dryer built by UPM.
In the conventional PET drying process, the PET is crystallized first, then gets moved to a separate desiccant dryer. With IRD, the material moves through a rotating stainless-steel drum, tumbling as it moves down the horizontal barrel, so it gets exposed to radiation from a bank of infrared heaters that heat from the core of each pellet to the outside. It does not heat the surrounding air.
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