Plastic recyclers see green. (Process).
Some may call it the opiate of the masses, but ReSyk Inc. makes recycling a money-making industry as well as a friend to the environment. This is no small feat in an industry that has seen limited financial rewards. But a creative team of researchers at ReSyk Inc., Brigham City, Utah, may turn this around with the development of The T6-350 Compounder.
Its advantage is in its tolerance. Prior to the development of this compounder, only clean, separated thermoplastics were considered recyclable. The TC-350 can process mixed, contaminated plastics. It has successfully processed plastics littered up to 30% with paint, labels, glues, woods, paper, food scraps, organics, and mild chemicals. Up to 15% non-ferrous metal can also intermingle with the plastics. Wood contamination can even approach 50% Despite recyclers' previous requirements for clean plastic, developers of TC-350 found some contaminants can actually enhance mechanical properties of resulting products.
The TC-350 bonds various plastics together using a relatively straightforward multi-step process. First, a grinder or shredder/grinder combination reduces plastic scraps to a size that can be processed. The compounder then heats and bonds together the sized materials. In the next step, a hydraulic press or extrusion method forces the plastic into shape. The resulting product cools in a water bath, mist, or water-chilled mold. The product is then ready for shipping.
Plastics have had a poor showing in the recycling business. While paper and paperboard have a recycling rate of almost 42%, plastics have had a meager rate of 5.2%.
Landfill heaps will see less plastic with the use of the TC-350. Products of the compounder could replace wooden ones, saving the lives of forests and everything in them. Manufacturers can re-consume plastic scraps, minimizing disposal as well as additional material costs.
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|Title Annotation:||T6-350 Compounder|
|Publication:||R & D|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Sep 1, 2002|
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