RECYCLING: High-Output, Low-Energy Modular Extruder for Recycling

ARTEC to showcase modular extrusion system that combines recycling and compounding in one single process at NPE 2015.

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Having partnered with KraussMaffei Berstorf (U.S. office in Florence, Ky.) Austria’s ARTEC is now offering a new extrusion concept “Edelweiss”, which combines recycling and compounding in one single process. Represented here by Zimmer America Recycling Solutions (ZARS), Cowpens, S.C., ARTEC and ZARS will showcase the new modular system at NPE 2015 in March.

The new Edelweiss Modul Series boasts the highest output capacity at the lowest energy consumption. It reportedly enables throughput rates of 440 to 5500 lbs/hr (200 to 2500 kg/hr), combining the preparation technology of ARTEC with the twin-screw-extruder technology of KraussMaffei Berstorff. The modular plant concept allows for custom configuration tailored to a customer’s requirements and is said to ensure cost-efficient conversion of production and post-consumer waste into ultra-pure pellets: The six modules are as follows:

 • Feeding: Material feeding is fully automatic based on a certain fullness of the cutter-compactor.

Cutter-Compactor: Incoming material is cut up and heated to just below the agglomeration point by friction heat in this insulated container designed for optimal drying, low now and high energy efficiency.

Extruder: The precompacted material is gently melted in the extruder which features: cooled intake zone for optional screw filling, advanced screw geometry for higher energy efficiency, has various screws and cylinder lengths, along with special screw designs for highly abrasive materials.

Degassing: The ARTEC systems allows the extrusion unit to be expanded with one or more degassing zones which decompress the pressurized, already fully melted material while extracting gaseous components (e.g., printing inks) from the melt by means of a vacuum. Special high-vacuum degassing for PET and nylon processing is offered.

Filtration: The requirements on the filter technology depend much on the quality of the input material as well as the planned use of the granules. Double- and multiple-piston screen changer systems for changing the filter screen with no interruption of production and minimal changes to the melt flow direction ensure the minimum possible pressure build-up in the screen changer. Featured are automatic back-flush units for repeated self-cleaning, and laser and belt screen technology for continuous filtering depending on the type and extent of contamination.

Pelletizing: Self-adjusting pelletizing head for the best granulate quality and long uptime thanks to consistently correct knife pressure. Flexible cooling water channel for efficient granulate cooling and conveyance. Gentle water removal and drying of the granules with an optimally designed, maintenance-friendly vertical centrifuge. Strand pelletizing systems consist of strand nozzle, water bath, granulator and screening machine specially for the processing of low-viscosity materials such as PET and nylon. Underwater pelletizing whereby all thermoplastics can be processed with a single system that boasts extreme reliability and high efficiency.