Russian plastics giant dips toes into WPC market

One of the largest plastics suppliers in Russia is now installing a new extrusion line for wood/plastics composites. Next month the line is to begin production of WPC profiles for decking and other building applications.

The new line, a BiTrudex unit supplied by extrusion systems supplier Reifenhäuser Extrusion, is being installed in the Kamskije Poljany industrial park. The park is being built in the Republic of Tatarstan is a project financed 51% by private investors, with the remaining 49% provided by the Tatarstan government and an investment fund of the Russian Federation. Of the private investors, a main one is OAO Nizhnekamskneftekhim, one of Russia's largest petrochemical and plastics suppliers. Plastics it supplies are polypropylene, polyethylene and polystyrene.

The new line will be running next month and is expected to extrude about 1400 tonnes of WPC decking this year. The decking extruded at the site in Tatarstan will use plastic supplied by OAO Nizhnekamskneftekhim. Wood fiber content can in compounds run through one of its BiTrudex extruders be as high as 70%, according to Reifenhäuser.

BiTrudex lines are direct extrusion units, with a gearless single-screw extruder placed above a counter-rotating twin-screw extruder. Direct WPC extrusion means the to-be-processed elements are mixed, plasticized, and extruded in a single step. Higher wood fiber loads, processed at higher processing speeds, and at a lower capital investment compared to first compounding and then extruding the material, are cited as specific benefits.

"The concept has convinced us since it is ideal for beginners in the WPC market who want to use their local raw materials," commented Alexander Lobov, director of the industrial park. "It is known that there is a huge market for WPC decking in Russia and we are striving for a high European quality standard not only in the production of the end product, but also with regard to a long service life of technology and easy handling...The principle of pre-plasticizing the plastic material before adding the fibers in a single operation seems to be the most reasonable and profitable solution to us." —MPW Editorial

 

 

 

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