Gentle PET decontamination

Kreyenborg, Hall 9, Booth A55

Infrared-rotary drums for various applications in plastics processing and recycling

At its exhibition stand, Kreyenborg GmbH & Co. KG from Senden, Germany, will be showing its IRD B 180/270-135, thus representing all kinds of infrared applications in the plastics processing and recycling industry. Individual, tailor-made infrared rotary drums are available for pre-heating, crystallisation, drying and coating of virgin materials. The company has developed the IR-Clean especially for de-gassing and decontamination processes of PET post-consumer bottle flakes. This economical solution for the treatment of recycling material, which has already been awarded a letter of non-objection by FDA and positive results by EFSA, will be one of this year’s highlights at Kreyenborg’s booth.

Apart from complete production lines for bulk material handling processes, infrared rotary drums are the key competences of Kreyenborg GmbH. Several hundreds of these systems have already been installed world-wide in the plastics processing industry alone. Their fields of application are as manifold as the designs selected by each specific customer individually. But the one thing they all have in common is their functional principle: the PET post-consumer bottle flakes are poured into the rotary drum through a volumetric dosing system. Inside the drum, an in-welded helix and the continuous rotation ensure a homogenous material flow at a pre-defined residence time (first-in/first-out principle).

At the same time, the material is mixed and a revolution of the surface takes place permanently, which causes the infrared elements positioned above the material bed to achieve a quick and even heat-up result. Infrared rotary drums work without any expensive vacuum technology and are designed according to each customer’s individual requirements as to their size and length. They can be designed either as a stand-alone solution or as a unit to be incorporated into a new or an existing extrusion line. The IRD B 180/270-135 that will be exhibited has a diameter of 180 cm, a length of 2.7 m and is perfectly suited for material flows of up to 800 kg/h.

Kreyenborg’s IR-Clean is a very specific development of an infrared rotary drum especially for the treatment of PET recycling material. Its tailor-made geometry, the targeted process control and a special control unit make the IR-Clean an ideal drying and decontamination unit for PET recycling material. This has been confirmed by a Letter of Non-Objection issued by the American FDA Authority and by several challenge tests, which have proven conformity with the criteria of the European EFSA.

PET recycling material, which has been dried and decontaminated in the IR-Clean, can be used for packaging that comes directly into contact with the foodstuff. Consequently, the IR-Clean itself, which works without any specific additional equipment and in an energy-efficient manner, but also the material cycle it closes and which preserves resources without any loss in quality, both represent a sustainable solution.

Not only for masterbatch crystallisation and drying

Kreyenborg will also be showing an IR-Batch 90/100-30. Exactly like the continuously working infrared rotary drums, the discontinuously working IR-Batch is claimed to ensure a gentle while efficient treatment of the material. Whether the task is heating-up, crystallising, drying or coating of plastics pellets, the IR-Batch is flexible and versatile. It is not only suitable for processing plastic materials, but also chemical products and foodstuff.

The IR-Batch has become established worldwide in PET masterbatch drying processes, says Kreyenborg. This is due to its two key features of convenient process control and flexibility. Drying of PET masterbatch is only possible if the polymer crystallises simultaneously, because otherwise undesired pellets agglomerations could form. Therefore, the drum of the drying unit is equipped with incorporated mixing elements. Owing to a very precisely and individually adjustable temperature control, the pellets can be crystallised gently, as well as safely. The heat input by the infrared radiation is direct, so that short process times of just 15 to 20 minutes are guaranteed.

As cleaning of the process unit is of major importance, the company ensured easy accessibility and quick material changes. The IR-Batch can be opened completely and the infrared module can be moved out of the rotary drum on an extraction unit. Due to its simple structure, the drum does not have any concealed or poorly accessible areas and is therefore very simple to clean by means of a suction device or compressed air. After cleaning, the system can be used again immediately without any pre-heating.

IR-Batch units are available with filling volumes in the range of 60 to 300 dm³, which cover a throughput range between 150 and 500 kg/h in processing times of 10 to 20 minutes. The IR-Batch 90/100-30 will be exhibited at K’2019; it will be equipped with a big sight glass for demonstration purposes. It has a diameter of 90 cm, a length of 100 cm and is suited for a filling quantity of 40 kg.

Visit Kreyenborg