Plastic granulator (also known as shredders) are an important piece of auxiliary equipment for any plastics processing factory. They are used to reduce scrap plastics into small granules that can be recycled or repurposed into new products.
Granulators are generally classified as either side-by-the machine or central granulation machines. Both have their own uses depending on your facility.
What is a plastic granulator?
A plastic granulator operates much like a large shredder, turning full-sized bottles, jugs, and other plastic products into flakes or granules. These granules are then sold to molders and manufacturers of plastic products as recycled raw material.
The granulation system includes four separate systems:
A motor drives a rotor that has a set of blades encased within a chamber. As the rotor spins, the blades cut the flakes into smaller granules. A screen inside the chamber acts as a sifter, ensuring that all of the granules are small enough to use in new plastic products.
The granulator’s power draw is relatively low, about that of 3-4 conventional incandescent light bulbs. This translates into a very low embodied energy of electricity for grinding the plastic into polymer feedstock for recyclebots and other fused particle/granule 3D printers.
What are the benefits of using a plastic granulator?
A plastic granulator can help to reduce the amount of scrap produced in a manufacturing process. This can save time and money by reducing the need for sorting, washing, and pelletizing. Additionally, a plastic granulator can reduce the need for additional space in the factory to store the regrind.
A granulator works much like a large shredder, turning full sized bottles, jugs and other plastic products into smaller pieces called flakes. These flakes can then be used to make new plastic items. This is known as recycling and creates many environmental benefits.
Choosing the right granulation equipment depends on your manufacturing operation and processing needs. There are several types of size reduction machines available, and each one has its own unique characteristics. The type of granulator that will be best for your operation is determined by four key factors:
How do plastic granulators work?
Plastic granulators reduce plastic scrap to small, uniform flakes or regrind for reuse in manufacturing new plastic products. They work by shearing and smashing the plastic into small pieces within a cutting chamber. The cutting system consists of two blade arms that connect to the rotor shaft and spin with it, as well as a fixed bed blade. The fly knives are designed to contact and shear through the plastic inside the granulation chamber, while the bed blade ensures that the pieces do not move too quickly.
The power transmission and plastic cutting/granulation systems are responsible for the machine’s core functions. These two systems convert the electrical energy into mechanical energy and then transfer that mechanical energy to the cutting/granulation system, which is responsible for cutting and ejecting the granules once they have reached a desired size. Tests were performed to determine the sound pressure levels produced by this open source waste plastic granulator, and it was determined that the noise level is below the 250 Hz one third-octave noise limit recommended for indoor spaces.
What are the main components of a plastic granulator?
The main components of a plastic granulator include the extrusion system, the feed system, and the cutting chamber. The extrusion system is responsible for forming the molten plastic into a continuous strand, which is then cut into pellets by the feed system. The granulator can be used on a variety of different types of plastic, including PVC, PET bottle flakes, and HDPE.
The feed system is designed to automatically supply the plastic granulate to the extrusion system. It is usually made from stainless steel to withstand the high pressure generated during the pelletizing process. The cutting chamber is the core of the plastic granulator, and it consists of one or more sets of knives. The number of knives, how they are arranged, and the tip angle all affect the quality of the final granulate.
It is important to keep in mind that a plastic granulator can produce a significant amount of noise during operation. This is why it is recommended that they be installed in rooms separate from the rest of the factory. Also, it is vital that they are properly maintained and inspected regularly to avoid accidents.