Plastics Recycling

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Carpet Fiber

November 22, 1993
Rev. March, 1997

Vincent Corporation recently shipped a VP-6 press for an unusual application. This press will be used to wring wash water from carpet fibers in a recycling operation.

Vincent's customer is operating a pilot plant program under a contract with a joint venture formed between two major U.S. and European companies. The key to the process being tested involves removing the fibers from the backing of used carpets. Since carpet is made up of roughly a 50/50 split between fibers and backing, the process will allow recycling half of the incoming material.

Once the fibers are shaved from the backing, they will be washed. Next they will be separated and dewatered in devices such as a hydroclone and a vibratory screen. At that point the washed fibers will flow to the Vincent press, arriving with a moisture content ranging from 70% all the way to 85%.

The Vincent press was selected for the pilot operation after testing in our Tampa laboratory. Excellent results were achieved, with moisture contents of under 55% and under 50% being reached with single and double pressing, respectively.

Once the fibers leave the press they will be transported to an air lift or fluid bed dryer, followed by a cyclone separator and bag house. The resulting end product will be used as raw material in applications ranging from cement reinforcement all the way to carpet manufacture.

Should the process prove out, plans call for processing modules based on 6,000 pounds per hour of incoming carpet. A model VP-12 press will probably be used for this purpose.

March, 1997 update. The funding ran out. Today we would use a Sterile Screw configuration in the this application in order to keep the horsepower down.

Issue 8

Plastic Recyclers

May 3, 1995
Rev. January 1998

Because of the increasing prices of virgin pellets [in 1995], plastic recyclers are at long last enjoying a measure of prosperity. This cyclical upswing has coincided with the refinement of Vincent products for the recycling industry.

Dewatering wash tank sludge is an application in which Vincent presses have been used since 1990. The screw press is used to dewater the sludge that settles when the paper label, dirt and residues are washed from post consumer plastics. A 1993 survey of the industry showed that few firms could afford a VP-6 press to dewater this waste material. Based on the survey, the CP-4 press was developed. At a third of the price of a VP-6, it is proving highly successful.

A related application involves the removal of water from the washed plastic. Prior to extruding the recycled plastic into a final pellet form, normally a series of machines are used to remove water from the clean plastic: screens, presses, spin dryers and fluidized bed dryers. Vincent presses with special low compression screws have found some limited use in this dewatering application on film, fiber, ground bottles and polystyrene.

January 1998
Lower prices for virgin plastic have driven many recyclers out of business. The industry is largely made up of small companies that have little, if any, cash available for equipment. Despite these conditions, a number of the very economical KP-6 presses have been sold for dewatering wash tank sludge.

Issue 25

Plastics Recycler Users

USERS LIST – PLASTICS RECYCLERS
 

Mr. Doug Brooks
A.E.R.T., Inc.
P. O. Box 1237
Springdale, AR 72765


Mr. Joe Warren
Dart Container Corp.
500 Hogsback Road
Mason, MI 48854


Mr. Ed Farley

Wellman, Inc.
P. O. Drawer 188
Johnsonville, SC 29555-0188


Mr. Steve Adams
Brigadoon/USPL
1909 NE 25TH Avenue
Ocala, FL 34470


Mr. Ed Nummer
Cadillac Products, Inc.
P. O. Box 1345
Sterling Heights, MI 48311


Mr. Francisco Morales

Eagle Brook Plastics
2600 West Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60608


Mr. Franco Previd
Enviro Plastics
P.O. Box 363
Auburn, MA 01501


Mr. Doug Meredith
Image Industries Inc.
106 John Bankson Drive
Summerville, GA 30747


Mr. Tom Hart
Waste Alternatives
(Out of business)
Ocala, FL


Mr. Bill Anderson
Merlin Plastics
Unit 109 - 917 Cliveden Avenue
Delta, BC CANADA V3M 5R6


Mr. Greg Davis
Orion Pacific
P. O. Box 4148
Odessa, TX 79760-4148


Mr. Ernie Maroschak
Plastic Tubing
P.O. Box 878
Roseboro, NC 28282


Mr. Adam Marciciszyn

Plastics Forming Ent.
850 E. Industrial Park, Unit 1
Manchester, NH 03109


Mr. Gary Fish
Premier Midwest Plastics
201 W. Plymouth
Jefferson, WI 53549


Mr. Ajit Perera
Talco Plastics, Inc.
3270 East 70th Street
North Long Beach, CA 90805


Mr. Jerry White
Envision Plastics
(FCR Plastics; Resource Recycling)
606 Walters Street
Reidsville, NC 27320


Mr. Walter Aristondo
Envision Plastic
14312 Central Avenue
Chino, CA 91710

 

Plastics Recycling

June 3, 1993                                                                                                                                                                                                           ISSUE #4

The industry that recycles post consumer plastics is divided into three main segments. These are the recycling of bottles, film, and polystyrene. The bottle segment is the largest, and it has several specialists: PET (two liter Coke bottles); clear high density polyethylene (HDPE) (one gallon milk containers); and colored HDPE (laundry detergent, cooking oil, hair shampoo). The film comes mostly from industrial wrapping and supermarket bags. And we are all familiar with the sources of polystyrene foam.

The Vincent dewatering screw press has found a common application in the factories of all of these segments. That application is the dewatering of wash tank sludge.

The recyclers of post consumer plastics all grind (shred) their incoming waste material after it has been sorted. Next it must be washed in order to assure purity of their end products. This washing is done in tanks, and sludge with a high fiber content accumulates in the process.

The need is to dewater the sludge arises because all the recyclers send the sludge to landfill. Without dewatering the sludge drips water, and highway officials will not permit hauling material that drips on the roads. Further, landfill tipping fees are less for dewatered material.

A question that invariably comes up is how to feed the sludge into the Vincent press. We find that in practice plastic recyclers do this in a variety of ways. Some pump the dilute sludge directly from the wash tank to the press. Other recyclers pump the wash water over a screen and feed the tailings into the press. The recyclers frequently have more than one source of sludge, so they might end up using a combination of these methods with one or more presses.

The screens being used ahead of our presses are both the static sloped screen with wedge wire and the round Sweco vibrating variety. In at least one case the tailings drop directly into the press, but most commonly the tailings are fed to the press with a screw conveyor.

In all cases the objective is simply to turn the sludge into a cake that will not run or drip. The volume typically is such that the smallest capacity presses are used.