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