Conair Group Inc. has introduced an insulated, high-heat version of its TrueBlend gravimetric blenders that allows makers of PET sheet, strapping and other products to use high levels of recycled material. That flexibility offers significant energy savings and productivity benefits, according to the company.
The high-heat TrueBlend allows processors to keep recycled and virgin materials separated until just before they get to an extruder or molding machine. If contamination is discovered in the regrind, only the regrind stream needs to be cleaned up, so production can continue using 100 percent virgin resin.
Conair said that design also gives users other advantages:
* Blended virgin pellets and regrind fluff, which have significantly different bulk densities and flow characteristics, reach the feed throat of the machine more quickly and have less chance to re-separate during conveying.
* By not allowing the heat input during desiccant drying to dissipate during blending, final processing requires less energy to be added.
“In most conventional operations, recycled PET flake is blended with virgin pellets after the flake has been recrystallized and before the material is dried,” Gene Flockerzi, vice president of packaging sales, said in a news release.
“If contamination is discovered in the recycle stream, it will likely be only after the blended material has been through the drying process, which can take as long as six hours.”
The line then has to be shut down while the drying hopper is emptied of material, including both contaminated regrind and uncontaminated virgin pellets. That can take two or three hours, followed by another two or three hours to reload the hopper, followed by another six hours to dry the new material.
The insulated blenders are available in sizes that can handle more than 5,000 pounds an hour.
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Also, the company's new FSG-series granulator has an in-feed section that can handle edge and bleed trim, off-spec rolls or hand-fed materials, making it ideal for grinding thin-gauge film and sheet scrap, Conair said. The granulator is part of a range of new equipment designed to improve productivity and profitability in film, sheet and extrusion coating.
The granulators come in nine sizes, for maximum throughputs from 100-1,600 pounds an hour. They can stand alone or be used as part of an integrated in-line, film-scrap recycling system.
The cutting chamber features three or five knives on an open rotor. The knives are slanted relative to the bed knives, to achieve a scissors-like cutting action for clean and uniform grinding of thin films.