Processors making PLA film and sheet, especially oriented PLA, have kept mum about how they reprocess their scrap. At the NPE show last month, Erema from Austria (U.S. office in Ipswich, Mass.) demonstrated PLA reclaim publicly for the first time, using a non-vented Model 906T reclaim extruder for PE film. With a normal non-barrier screw for PE, it processed oriented PLA scrap provided by Biax International Inc., Tiverton, Ont., a large producer of OPLA sheet. (Though not typical in production, the PLA was pre-ground for the show to reduce space and noise.) Frictional heat generated in Erema’s shredder/compactor acts like a dryer, removing and venting moisture back out through the hopper before the material enters the extruder. PLA reclaim processes at lower temperatures than polyolefin film. As with PE, the PLA is cut by a die-face pelletizer. Erema says about 20 million lb/yr of bioplastic scrap (mostly PLA) is reprocessed on Erema reclaim extruders in the U.S., and about the same amount in Europe (PLA and starch based films for compost bags). (978) 356-3771 • www.erema.net
EREMA North America
23 Old Right Rd. #2 Ipswich, MA 01938-1164
Phone (978) 356-3771 Fax (978) 356-9003
Editor PickSizing the Barrier Gap
Here’s a less complex way to properly size the barrier gap for barrier screws.