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Starlinger, a specialist in recycling equipment, will exhibit at the Index14 trade show this year with equipment and processes to turn nonwoven production scrap into a valuable secondary resource.
During the nonwoven fabric production process, waste occurs along the entire production chain – from start-up waste and off-spec material all the way to conversion scrap. Nonwovens consist of different polymers and polymer mixtures, have different viscosities, and type and amount of contamination and required filtration fineness can vary a lot.
Starlinger says that due to the fact that nonwoven production waste comes in different shapes, it is necessary to recycle it into pellets to make it suitable for reuse. The group reports that its systems are suitable for converting nonwoven production scrap into “first quality regranulate”
In-house recycling, Starlinger claims, can help nonwoven manufacturers to control the quality of the regranulate through their own materials management processes.
For high quality regranulate the group suggests a thorough analysis of the input material. Its recycling systems are equipped with an extruder vacuum unit. This extracts volatile contaminants – spin finish, for example – and reduces viscosity loss in the melt. A variety of melt filtration systems are available to offer clean, high-grade melt: melt filters with and without backflushing, power backflush filters and continuous rotation filters are the most common. The choice of filter type and size depends on the type and amount of contaminants. A specially designed cascade filtration system enables very fine filtration down to 25m.
Starlinger says that it can supply a range of pelletising equipment depending on viscosity, preferred shape of regranulate, and required grade of automatisation. For PET/PES, crystallisation equipment and solid-stating reactors for increasing IV are available.
All the recycling equipment is permanently set up for trial runs at the Starlinger Technical Center in Weissenbach near Vienna, Austria. Interested parties can compare technologies, process their own materials, and obtain regranulate to test in their production units.