PET reprocessing plant P:React
Liquid State Polycondensation (LSP)
With its P:React machine, Next Generation Recyclingmaschinen GmbH, Feldkirchen, Austria, presents a new compounding plant for polyethylene terephtalate (PET). The unit operates on the liquid state polycondensation process (LSP), and, according to supplier information, will improve the properties of the recycled PET plastic.
The LSP process benefits from the PET material’s inherent property of post-condensing when melting and when exposed to a vacuum. This post-condensation steps up intrinsic viscosity (IV). The high-performance vacuum applied cleans the material from contamination, thus enabling re-use as a material complying with 100 % food contact requirements, states the producer.
When the PET melt reaches the vertical section of the plant, strands are produced to achieve an appropriate surface to volume ratio. Then the material is collected in a horizontal barrel and slowly moves on. Post-condensation starts when forming the stands, and continues until the PET leaves the plant. The rise in IV value is controlled via the residence time of the PET melt in the machine, and can be set to the desired level. By choosing the respective parameters, the user can keep the desired IV value constant within a narrow tolerance. This is done via a control unit.
Decontamination is efficiently carried out while the material melts. In their press release, the producer claims the unit’s cleaning performance exceeds the requirements specified by recognized standards that apply for food safety. Spinning oils are removed from the fibers, too. Increase in IV value can be measured taking place at 0.01 dl/g per minute, approximately.
Within a narrow range of the IV process, the compounding plant generates recycling pellets in continuous operation. The pellets can be used for high-end applications such as fiber spinning and film extrusion, and are suitable for PET processing and recycling.
Translated from Kunststoffe 3/2015, p. 112.
NGR Next Generation Recyclingmaschinen GmbH
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