MAS granulation line for Fatra plastics processing

Success story: New granulation line to help reduce waste – a report from the client’s perspective

At the begin­ning of April, we at Fatra installed a gran­u­la­tion line from the Aus­tri­an com­pa­ny MAS in build­ing num­ber 34 in Napa­jed­ly. The new line can process into gran­u­late form some het­ero­ge­neous tech­no­log­i­cal wastes that until now end­ed up in land­fills or were des­tined for sale to exter­nal com­pa­nies due to the lack of suit­able tech­nol­o­gy for their pro­cess­ing.

New separation options

The pri­ma­ry focus of the line is on pro­cess­ing PES/PVC lumps, a mix­ture of PVC and poly­ester fibers that are gen­er­at­ed in the pro­duc­tion of roof water­proof­ing mem­branes.

PES/PVC fiber Process process waste in the form of off­cuts and non-con­form­ing prod­ucts con­tain­ing PES mesh is processed on Alpine’s sep­a­ra­tion linesin crush­ing lines. The scraps are cut into small pieces, and in the fol­low­ing steps, using air, the loos­ened PES fibers are blown off to form waste PES lumps.

From landfilled material to safe processing

The result­ing lumps, although still con­tain­ing approx­i­mate­ly 50% of the high-qual­i­ty PVC, have been tech­no­log­i­cal and, there­fore, unus­able mate­r­i­al, which was land­filled. This amount­ed to about 260 tons of mate­r­i­al, for which we had to pay. Find­ing a way to recov­er this mate­r­i­al took much work.

Devel­op­men­tal­ly, we set out to do this in 2015 to 2017 as part of a joint project with Tomas Bata Uni­ver­si­ty in Zlín and Brno Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy. The shift towards imple­ment­ing the solu­tion pro­posed dur­ing the project took place in 2020 when a fol­low-up PTR task was for­mu­lat­ed, aimed at prepar­ing tech­ni­cal and eco­nom­ic doc­u­ments for the launch of the invest­ment project.

Technological waste turned into returnable material

In addi­tion to PES lumps/PVC fibers, the MAS line can process tech­no­log­i­cal waste with glass fleece from pro­duc­ing water­proof­ing films and floor cov­er­ings. The result­ing gran­u­late can be reused in pro­duc­ing semi-fin­ished water­proof­ing mem­branes and under­lay mem­branes for floor cov­er­ings. It will also be pos­si­ble to use the result­ing gran­u­late to pro­duce new­ly con­sid­ered prod­ucts such as tiles and pro­files.. Over­all approx­i­mate­ly 320 tons of mate­r­i­al will be processed into usable gran­u­late.

The result­ing gran­u­late can be reused as return­able mate­r­i­al in pro­duc­ing semi-fin­ished water­proof­ing mem­branes and under­lay mem­branes for floor cov­er­ings. It will also be pos­si­ble to use the result­ing gran­u­late to pro­duce new­ly con­sid­ered prod­ucts such as tiles and pro­files.

The new granulation line in detail

For the tech­ni­cal­ly inclined read­er, here is a brief descrip­tion of how the gran­u­la­tion line works.

Before the mate­ri­als enter the line, the result­ing tech­no­log­i­cal waste must be crushed. For this rea­son, the gran­u­la­tion line is con­tin­u­ous­ly con­nect­ed to the Alpine 2 and 3 sep­a­ra­tioncrush­ing liness. A con­vey­or is placed to ensure that the hop­per is accu­rate­ly sup­plied with the processed mate­r­i­al. This hop­per then pro­vides the forced feed to the extrud­er. Final­ly, in the extrud­er, two con­i­cal screws with the same sense of rota­tion are used to effec­tive­ly mix the mix­ture and, above all, to process the PES fibers.

. Next, the result­ing melt is trans­port­ed to the gran­u­la­tion extru­sion head. This is an under­wa­ter gran­u­la­tor head, an essen­tial part of the line. Here, knives are used to chop the mate­r­i­al to be extrud­ed into gran­ules while short­en­ing the PES fibers.

The result­ing gran­u­late is car­ried away by the water cur­rent, which cools it down and pre­vents it from stick­ing togeth­er. Next, it pass­es through a rotary cen­trifu­gal device, where the gran­u­late is sep­a­rat­ed from the water and dried. It is then trans­port­ed via a pneu­mat­ic con­vey­ing line to the fill­ing sta­tion.

An investment into the future

Acqui­si­tion and com­mis­sion­ing a new gran­u­la­tion line will main­ly reduce the amount of land­filled poly­mer waste and, thus, finan­cial sav­ings for land­fill­ing. At the same time, the con­sump­tion of pri­ma­ry raw mate­ri­als will be part­ly replaced by regran­u­la­tion. The project will also con­tribute sig­nif­i­cant­ly to strength­en­ing the envi­ron­men­tal pro­file of the com­pa­ny in full com­pli­ance with the prin­ci­ples of sus­tain­abil­i­ty.

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