Updated: Jul 17, 2021
Plastic processing and size reduction is the primary goal of plastic processors. Size reduction is the conversion of used plastic or scrap back to a size or in the form of the new material being processed.
The size reduction process is a vital part of plastic recycling due to the following reasons:
• By reducing the particle size of the processed plastics, we can increase the contact surface area which improves the washing and drying process. Thus reducing the operational costs and energy required.
• Usually, sink- float tanks are used for the separation of plastics as per density. Uniformity of plastic particle size aids in the separation process as all particles of similar density will collect while more dense particles will sink and be easy to separate. Thus improving the efficiency of separation.
• In general, plastic resins are sold according to their weight and purity. By reducing the size of the particles, we can increase the density of resin in any given space, thus lowering the space and thus cost required for transportation or storage.
• The regrind product will have similar material characteristics such as optical qualities and strength, allowing them to be blended with the original resin.
• This is a cost-effective, efficient, and environmentally friendly alternative.
The common equipment used:
Granulators: A plastic granulator is a machine used to break down plastic products for recycling operations. Most granulators work with consumer plastics such as polypropylene and polyethylene as they are easier to granulate than Nylon, PC, or ABS.
In the granulation process, plastics are first separated and washed to remove contaminants. Once the plastic is separated, it is supplied to the granulator, where a series of knives fitted on an electric motor-driven shaft breaks the plastic into smaller pieces. The processed contents are then used for the manufacture of plastic products.
There are many other granulator options available in the market which can be customized to fit any specific application.
Shredders: Shredder is a plastic reduction machine used to cut plastics into smaller components before the granulation process. Unlike granulators, shredders are made for large plastic waste such as pipes, drums, plastic jars, bottles, and other items too large for the granulator. The blades of a shredder move at a slower speed than the granulator via motor coupling, and large plastic pieces are fed directly to it without any pretreatment. The rotating blades break the plastic down into smaller chunks.
Most shredders on the market are of single shaft configuration, but 2 and 4 shaft models are available too. In some cases, the granulator and shredder can be a single unit. There are many options available on the market for specifying the shredding operation as per specific applications.
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