A specialized single-screw extruder with a mixing chamber in the middle compounds and extrudes sheet containing up to 70% recycled tire rubber, mineral fillers, long glass, or natural fibers like wood, kenaf, or hemp. The process (U.S. Pat. Applic. 20060113695) was acquired by Meccaniche Moderne SpA in Busto Arizio, Italy, and the first machine was built two years ago. It was introduced publicly at the recent K 2007 show in Germany. The 35:1 extruder melts the thermoplastic, then adds the fillers in a central mixing chamber designed to preserve the fillers intact without thermal or mechanical damage. The compound is then compressed under partial vacuum and extruded into sheet. Commercial systems have been built for 800-mm-wide sheet, but the company can make lines up to 2.5 m wide. Tel: +39 (0331) 629 145 . www.meccanichemoderne.it
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