Side Feeder Allows More Economical Plastics Recycling

Plastics previously considered not recyclable are becoming a valuable raw material using the new Coperion ZS-B MEGAfeed, the German company assured.

Photo: Coperion

Coperion has developed a new version of its ZS-B side feeder with the goal of making recycling of lightweight, high-volume fiber and flake recyclate more economical. “Using the innovative ZS-B MEGAfeed, plastic recyclate with a bulk density under 200 kilograms/cubic meter, long considered intake-limited and thus not worth recycling, can be reliably fed in large quantities into Coperion’s ZSK twin screw extruder and be concurrently recycled and compounded,” the manufacturer with locations in 17 countries on three continents informed.

As reported by the company, the feeder’s novel design makes it possible to feed very high rates of fiber and flakes, such as PA (polyamide), PE (polyethylene), PET (polyethylene terephthalate), and PP (polypropylene). “As a result, the ZSK twin-screw extruder’s high capacity can be fully exploited when the ZS-B MEGAfeed is used. Very high throughputs in both mechanical and chemical recycling of post-industrial and post-consumer waste are achieved.” According to Coperion, with a ZSK 58 Mc18 twin-screw extruder, the throughput increase, and thus the potential of the new ZS-B MEGAfeed becomes clear. When recycling PA fibers with a bulk density of about 40-50 kilograms/cubic meter, throughputs of 70 kilograms/hour (kg/h) were previously achieved using conventional equipment, the firm gave account. When the PA fibers were fed into the ZSK extruder using the ZS-B MEGAfeed, throughputs rose about fourteenfold to 1,000 kilograms/hour. “Similar results were achieved recycling carbon fibers; in this case, throughputs increased from 50 kg/h to 2,500 kg/h using the ZS-B MEGAfeed. When recycling PCR (Post-Consumer Recycled) flakes, throughputs increased from 50 kg/h to 700 kg/h, and from 80 kg/h to 1,300 kg/h with multilayer film flakes.”

(Published in GLOBAL RECYCLING Magazine 3/2022, Page 49, Photo: Coperion)