Special temperature control makes smooth pellets that "shine like diamonds."

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Maag Automatik (U.S. office in Charlotte, N.C.) has developed what it calls a revolutionary process for pelletizing engineering polymers underwater. Called Optimized Temperature Pelletizing (OTP), the process generates pellets that reportedly shine like diamonds with no voids, dents, or other defects.

The process produces spherical pellets on the supplier’s Sphero underwater pelletizing system. Pellets of this shape are said generate less wear during conveying processes than other pellet geometries. Less wear equals less dust formation, which results in less effort for dust removal or cleaning, says Maag.

In the process, pellets are cut and cooled first in pressurized, overheated water (above 100 C/212 F). The pellets are then separated from overheated water and transferred to the second cooling circuit (less than 95 C/203 F).

After subsequent cooling, the pressure is released and the pellets are separated by Maag’s Centro dryer from the process water. Once dry, the pellets are ready for subsequent processing or packing. The closed loops reportedly result in operating conditions without any air emissions or product contamination.

Based on the higher temperature level in the isolated first cooling process, that energy could easily be used for heating purposes or transformed into electrical power suitable for consumption by system components like pumps and motors.