Plastic Recycling Machines: Crusher

Plastic Recycling Machines: Crusher

PET bottles, HDPE packaging and other types of plastic waste can be transformed into valuable resources trough a recycling process. Shredding or crushing is an important part of it. In this article we are going to focus on crushers (also referred to as granulators) and see how they work, what are their advantages and disadvantages.

Basically, crushers perform the same function as shredders. They crumble plastic waste into small particles. They also can work with a variety of other types of waste: aluminium, paper and carton, copper cables, wood, fabric, foam, rubber, and electric devices. However, shredders and crushers operate in a different way and perform better in different conditions.

Crushers are more compact than shredder machines. Some of them are portable which means that you can crush plastic waste virtually anywhere, pack the particles densely and transport them to your facility. Though in the portable crushers motor power is usually lower than in the stationary machines. For example, BOMAC Industries offers portable crushers with a motor power ranging from 2.2 kW to 11 kW. In universal crushers the motor power is up to 4 times higher (reaching 45 kW), and in industrial – up to 15 times higher (reaching 110 kW and 160 kW respectively). You can’t have both high productivity and portability.

Crushers (or granulators) also differ by type of input material they can crumble. Portable and universal crushers can easily work with smaller items like PET bottles, HDPE bottles (milk, detergent and shampoo containers), film or CD\DVD cases. Industrial and heavy-duty crushers are suitable both for small and bulky objects. Besides, they are designed to handle high capacities and operate continuously.

The feeding process is different for crushers and shredders. Due to a hydraulic push block, the shredder needs little supervision and can process dense, heavy scrap even if it is just dumped into the hopper. However, if you try to dump the same kind of plastic waste into a crusher, you can seriously damage it. The scrap should be fed ‘portionwise’ in order to avoid rotor’s jam. A smooth operation of the crusher is achieved through the usage of conveyors or other feeding mechanisms. Angle of feeding is also important.

Cutting mechanism of a crusher consists of a rotor with mounted durable hard-metal knives, and stationary knives mounted within a chamber.

As for the cutting mechanism, it is similar for all types of crushers. They have:

  • a rotor with mounted durable hard-metal knives which rotates with a high speed
  • stationary knives mounted within a chamber.

Together they grind the plastic waste into small particles. You decide what is the desired size. The manufacturer produces a screen with holes of the respective diameter and embeds the screen into your crusher. The plastic waste, which you load into the crusher, goes though the cutting process as many times as needed before it becomes small enough to fall through the holes. This way you can be sure that you will always get a uniform size of the particles.

Crushers have electric motors. Energy costs can eat into your budget if you don’t pay attention to energy-efficiency levels. It is also the case when buying second-hand crushers may be financially attractive in a short-term, but less so in a long run. BOMAC Industries provides all crushers with energy-efficient cutting and constantly works on improving it in order to minimize operational costs of your business. In order to save on energy consumption also make sure that the crushers you buy have a motor of the correct size, i.e. the one that matches your specific needs.

Talking of maintenance of the crushers, it is relatively easy. You want to make sure that the knives aren’t getting blunt and the belt – loose or warn. If they do, not only will it reduce productivity of your machine, but also increase energy consumption. You also want to have an easy access to the cutting chamber in order to clean it and change the knives easily and with a minimum downtime.

With the right recycling machines you can crush a large variety of soft and hard plastic. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact BOMAC Industries. Our specialists in recycling will be glad to help you!

 

BOMAC Industries strives to provide innovative solutions for recycling plastics and offers a wide range of plastic recycling lines and machines for most common plastics and rubber, for example PET bottles, plastic film, car tires, PVC profiles etc.

Plastic Recycling Machines: Shredder

Plastic Recycling Machines: Shredder

The shredder is a must-have machine in the plastic recycling process, especially if your company deals with heavy and bulky objects. It differs from other recycling machines (e.g. crushers) by quick and continuous crumbling of any input material. Let’s see how the shredder machine works.

Industrial shredders can be used for different kinds of materials: wood, biological waste, rubber, tires, aluminium, paper and carton, foam, electric devices. But in our article we will focus on shredding plastics.

Single-shaft shredders are perfect for plastic recycling especially for well-sorted in advance material

Some single-shaft plastic shredder machines crumble the material through tearing, i.e. by pulling it with a force strong enough to make the plastic come apart. This method does not guarantee a uniform size of the particles. That is why many companies, including BOMAC Industries, advice to use shredders that perform shearing motion. It means that shredders cut plastic waste with hard-metal knives and provide a uniform output size.

The process starts when you fill the crushing chamber of the industrial shredder with plastics. In a single-shaft shredder, a hydraulic push block pushes the material down into the cutter shaft. It is necessary because some plastic items tend to ‘float’ on top of the cutters and need some ‘help’ to go through. Double-shaft shredders usually do not have hydraulic push blocks, as two shafts of blades are successful at crumbling material without additional ‘support’.

If a foreign object falls into the crushing chamber by accident, the shredder machine can be stopped, and a flap can be opened in order to easily remove the object.

The next stage of the process is cutting.  In short, the cutting system of the shredder machine consist of one or several rotors, knives, gears and a drive-belt. Rotor diameter may vary depending on your needs. For example, BOMAC Industries offers single-shaft shredders with the rotor diameter ranging from 280 mm to 800 mm, and double-shaft shredders with the rotor diameter ranging from 210 mm to 610 mm. Knives are mounted on the rotor, and their geometry can be modified in order to meet specific need of the clients. These cutting systems can crumble a broad range of plastics: PET, PP, PE, PS, PVC etc. With industrial shredders it is possible to process small items (e.g. PET bottles) as well as large objects (e.g. pipes). Components of the shredder’s cutting system normally can be quickly removed and replaced, which means a minimum downtime.

 Single- Shaft Shredders VS Double-Shaft Shredders

Screens guarantee a uniform size of particles

There are some differences between single- and double-shaft shredders that are important to study. No machine can suit all your needs, and knowing advantages and disadvantages of both types of shredders will help you to make the best choice.

Single-shaft shredders are perfect for plastic recycling, especially for dense, well-sorted in advance material. This type of recycling machines can produce small uniform particles. Material is processed by the shredder as many times as needed before the desired size is reached. It happens due to special screens with holes of a pre-defined size that are located under the cutting mechanism. When the particles are small enough, they fall through these screens.  However, special attention should be paid to maintenance of this type of shredder machine. In order to keep efficiency high, knives should be always well sharpened, and no foreign objects should fall into the hopper. There is a risk that the damage to the machine will be done before the foreign object is removed.

Double-shaft shredders are well suited for plastic recycling process as well. One of their main advantages is that such machines can crumble contaminated waste, and the risk of damage is much lower.  Operating costs for double-shaft shredders are very low as well. However, if no screens are used, these industrial shredders will produce particles of a different size.

It is always a good idea to consult with shredder manufacturers to discuss machine configurations that will work best for you and make your recycling line run smoothly.

 

BOMAC Industries strives to provide innovative solutions for recycling plastics and offers a wide range of plastic recycling lines and machines for most common plastics and rubber, for example PET bottles, plastic film, car tires, PVC profiles etc.

How to Set Up a Plastic Recycling Line

How to Set Up a Plastic Recycling Line

Your company regularly produces plastic waste, and after considering all potential benefits you decided to start recycling. Setting up a recycling line can be complicated, but not if you plan all steps in advance! In this article we will guide you through the most important steps any company should consider in order to successfully launch its own recycling line.

First, collect and analyse data. You want to understand what kind of plastic you currently use in the production cycles, and how it can be collected for recycling. Decide for yourself what you are going to do with recycled material: will you use it in subsequent production cycles or will you sell it? It is also essential to investigate competitors who are few steps ahead and already started recycling. What do they do? Can their processes be improved?

Second, know your expenses. It is vital to know what quantities of plastic you need in order to keep your recycling processes economically feasible. To answer this question, consider costs associated with:

  • recycling equipment,
  • storage and\or recycling space,
  • salaries for employees,
  • collection process (including vehicles to deliver plastic waste).

Setting up a recycling line can be costly, so you want to make sure that you choose the best recycling equipment for your specific purposes, be it crushers, shredders, extrusion lines, blow molding or thermoforming lines. In short, the recycling process consists of the following stages: sorting (manual, automatic or mixed), separation, granulation, washing, rinsing, drying and transforming flakes into pellets. There is no universal solution for every situation. Every recycling line is unique, so consult with a recycling machine manufacturer and decide on what combination of recycling machines will work for you.

Furthermore, consider if you have enough space to install the equipment. If not, you may want to rent or buy a spot to which vehicles have an easy access. Separating plastic from dirt or other types of garbage is an important step, so you also want to have a connection with a water treatment system and stable energy supply. Do not forget to make sure that your company has all the necessary documents (permits and licensing) and is ready for inspections.

Third, plan the collection process. Now you know how much plastic you need to make profit. Is it possible to collect this amount? If you collect plastic waste directly from consumers, establish good communication, install special recycling kiosks (like some major beverage companies do) or offer your costumers incentives for every used plastic item they bring back to you. Your company may also cooperate with volunteers or local centers for collection and disposal of plastic waste.

Once you have completed previous steps, you are ready to start!

 

BOMAC Industries strives to provide innovative solutions for recycling plastics and offers a wide range of plastic recycling lines and machines for most common plastics and rubber, for example PET bottles, plastic film, car tires, PVC profiles etc.

Recycling Technologies of the Future

Recycling Technologies of the Future

Recycling technologies develop very fast, especially when it comes to recycling plastics. About a half of all plastic garbage cannot be recycled today because of its initial design and composition. As a result, millions of tons of garbage end up in landfills, rivers and oceans, and represent an enormous ecological problem. For instance, plastic waste kills seabirds and turtles, and releases harmful chemicals into the soil. Many companies like BOMAC Industries try to solve this problem. They come up with innovative ideas, design new recycling machines, develop new technologies, and thus open a new market for recycling with billions of dollars of possible revenue.

Turning polystyrene into oil

Polystyrene is a very common material. It is used for producing test tubes, razors, yogurt containers, and food packaging (think of the boxes in which you get food in the fast food restaurants) etc. Polystyrene foams are also widely used in construction as they are good thermal insulators. However, available technologies for recycling polystyrene are not economically feasible. An American start-up came up with a new technology that can convert polystyrene back to crude oil. The company did it successfully before the oil crises. The main challenge for this technology is that it needs large amounts of the material, and some countries aim to minimize usage of polystyrene.

Undisclosed opportunities of recycling polyethylene

Polyethylene is everywhere. It’s the most popular type of plastic. It is used for producing bottles, plastic bags etc. Most of polyethylene trash ends up in landfills like polystyrene for the same reason – it is too expensive to recycle it. Some of the main issues are collecting small plastic items and then separating them from other types of garbage or unwanted chemical additives. Current technology doesn’t allow to efficiently sort items that are smaller than 60mm.

Another important issue is that it is hard to get rid of colour. Yes, all the logos and product information that you usually see on plastic packaging is one of the main reasons why your plastic bag goes to ocean instead of recycling loops. The Ellen Macarthur Foundation report says that colouring plastics reduces the value of the recycled materials up to US $300 per ton. Some companies already refuse from colouring bottles in order to use them in next production cycles.

These are just a few examples of what issues the recycling industry faces and how technology can resolve them. No doubt, if technologies ever allow us to recycle 100% of plastic waste, they will become the technologies of the future.

BOMAC Industries strives to offer innovative solutions for recycling plastics and offers a wide range of plastic recycling lines and machines for most common plastics and rubber, for example PET bottles, plastic film, car tires, PVC profiles etc.