Originally developed for preheating, crystallization, and drying of recycling- and virgin materials, customized, individual infrared rotary drums are now available for other processing tasks in plastics recycling. Particularly for the decontamination of rPET flakes for food contact (FDA/EFSA), KREYENBORG has developed the IR-CLEAN® system, while as a further innovation for the polyolefin recycling sector, the IR-FRESH® concept for odour reduction of HDPE or PP regrinds will be presented.
Comprehensive automated concepts for bulk material handling have traditionally been one of the core competencies at KREYENBORG. As an example, a 500-liter MBM high-speed mixer will be shown at the K trade fair booth. This mixer is ideally suited for gentle mixing of masterbatch, compounds, or glass fiber-reinforced granulates. With these high-speed mixers, KREYENBORG meets the exacting requirements of its customers for gentle homogenization of granulates and regrinds with great mixing precision, as well as offering easy and fast cleaning capabilities. The customer can choose from a graduated program with capacities ranging from 1 m³ to 40 m³ in both standard- and stainless-steel design. Complete and automated overall plant concepts can be realized from the silo to the material feed, the conveying system, and the mixer. The mixer program is supplemented by special silo- and dosing solutions for bad flowing, light recycling materials such as fibers, flakes or film chips.
The IRD infrared rotary drum product family is headlined at the trade show booth by the continuously operating IRD, which showcases the process engineering possibilities of this unique technology. Established over many years in direct extrusion in PET recycling, and hundreds of times in the market, the IRD provides the ideal preliminary phase in the extrusion process for the crystallization and drying of PET flakes and granules. Short residence times with simultaneously low energy consumption are achieved by rapid heating using direct heat input from the infrared emitters. Concurrently, continuous mixing in the rotating drum also opens up further applications in heating and drying, especially for regrinds from recycling.
Previously presented at K 2019 and since then successfully established in the market, for the foodgrade recycling processing of rPET is the IR-CLEAN®. It achieves FDA and EFSA standards for 100% rPET content in food packaging, making the IR-CLEAN® ideal as a retrofit for PET sheet lines or PET repelletizing lines, to name just two examples. Its tailor-made configuration, targeted process control, and a customized control unit make the IR-CLEAN® the ideal drying and decontamination unit, without having to resort to costly vacuum technology.
But high-level decontamination conduction through heat and surface can also be applied in HDPE and PP recycling to reduce odours and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). With the IR-FRESH® concept, which again integrates infrared technology as a central technique, both regrinds before, and granulates after the extrusion process can again be treated with reduced process times to produce a high-quality plastic recyclate. Here, too, an application-specific, modular concept comprising IR-FRESH® and an IRFRESH® CONDITIONER is available The family of infrared technology systems is rounded out by the discontinuously operating IR-Batch. Just like the continuously operating infrared rotary drums, the discontinuously operating IR-Batch ensures very gentle yet efficient treatment of material. Whether plastic granules need to be heated, crystallized, dried, or coated, the IR-Batch is very flexible, versatile, and easy to clean. Because of these design advantages, the exhibit on display is intended as a crystallizer for PET masterbatch. Thanks to very precise and individually adjustable temperature control, the granules can be crystallized gently but safely. Input of heat through infrared light is instantaneous, so that short process times of only 15 to 20 minutes are enabled. In addition to PET and PLA crystallization, other demanding applications can also be implemented with the IR-Batch – technical polymers such as PEEK, PAI or PEI can be treated, as can very moist or bridging materials, which means that the IR-Batch's range of applications begins where conventional drying has reached its limits.