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Compounders keen to learn about the cutting edge of pelletizing technology will want to make their way to this company's stand during the upcoming K show. With its reputation for standard applications established, the manufacturer says at the big event it will emphasize its offers for more elaborate applications.

August 19, 2010

3 Min Read
From biopolymers to recycled PET: New solutions for tough pelletizing applications

The pelletizing machinery manufacturer, Automatik Plastics Machinery GmbH (Grossostheim, Germany), is planning a display at its stand (9/A04) organized around five "theme parks" featuring tailor-made solutions for challenging applications in pelletizing. The show also will mark the first major public appearance by Automatik following its recent merger with Maag Pump Systems AG.

"Our ability to comprehensively deliver all kinds of pelletizing solutions for standard applications involving commodity polymers and technical thermoplastics is already very well established in the global market," explained managing director Harald Zang. "That's why our aim at this year's K Show will be to demonstrate our leadership in demanding applications of particular interest."

Four of the five theme parks are dedicated to the growing markets for biopolymers, CC-PET technology and recycled PET, micro pelletizing, and fiber-reinforced thermoplastics, with each display naturally completed with the company's recommended solutions for the material. CC-PET refers to CombiCrystal PET, in which pelletizing, drying, and crystallization are combined in a single process. The fifth theme park will feature the company's program of after-sales service.

For CC-PET process, the manufacture also will introduce a new generation of its established Sphero underwater pelletizing system. The next-generation Sphero 70 has been improved with a very streamlined process water flow and the new cutting chamber lock which can be flipped open with a single hand, which Automatik claims is a first in the industry. The benefits of the straight-line process water design, with tangential inflow to and outflow from the cutting chamber, are easier cleaning, reduced wear, and avoidance of clumping for critical applications such as thermoplastic elastomers. In addition, the cutting head assembly has been redesigned with a new universal joint, which keeps the cutting edges aligned to the die plate. This design improvement increases the knife service life by up to 30%, according to the company. The redesigned cutting chamber geometry, with its straight-line exit of pellet-water slurry, reduces power requirements. The pellet dryer blower, which requires 50% less power than preceding models, offers further energy savings and the new SuperFlow thermally insulated die plate.

For micro pelletizing the company will introduce a Centro 150 centrifugal dryer fitted with especially fine screens. Because of the more exact dosing and more homogeneous distribution in polymer melts which they enable, micro pellets are becoming ever more prevalent within the industry.

For biopolymers and fiber-reinforced thermoplastics, Automatik will exhibit its EBG belt conveyor pelletizing system together with the Primo Plus 200 dry cut strand pelletizer. The EBG belt conveyor gently guides the strands without tensile force, making it suitable for friable or highly filled products. The system offers a range of options for cooling. For example, a high-temperature polymer which is extruded at a temperature of 400°C can first be slowly cooled with air, and then subsequently be more aggressively cooled with water. By reducing the cross-sectional temperature gradient, this controlled cooling process avoids the cavities that result from overly rapid cooling. —Matt Defosse

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