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November 21, 2018 | NGR – Kuhne PET Day

On November 8, more than 117 representatives of the plastics industry from 24 countries met for an open day at the Upper Austrian mechanical engineering company Next Generation Recycling Machines (NGR). In cooperation with the German machine supplier and extrusion specialist Kuhne GmbH, a recycling process for PET was demonstrated: The LSP recycling method developed by NGR is claimed to open up completely new possibilities for the plastics industry.

Achieving food grade standards, decontamination and rebuilding of the molecular chain structure takes place in the liquid phase of the PET in the LSP process. This principle allows recyclers more flexibility with regard to the input materials. Different forms of PET waste can be mixed and recycled. This means not only bottle flake, but also scrap fibre, sheet, thermoform waste, strapping, and other lower value scrap streams can be recycled to much higher IV and higher value recycled products. In addition, the NGR process at the outlet provides controlled mechanical properties of the recycled PET. Furthermore, LSP can be used to process co-polymer forms of PET (PET-G) and polyolefin contents (e.g. PE) without any problems. In addition, it had been demonstrated that PET/PET-G as well as PET/PE compounds can be easily and safely processed using Liquid State Polycondensation without any limitations. Until now, this was not possible with conventional recycling processes.

After the melt has passed the LSP reactor, it can either be granulated or – like at the demonstration in Feldkirchen – processed to FDA approved film with outstanding optical and mechanical properties by implementing devices such as a sheet die, a roll stack, cutting devices or a winder. These films are mainly used for thermoforming applications.

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