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The extrusion technology innovator will show how it is moving the needle on recyclability at K 2022.

Norbert Sparrow

August 8, 2022

4 Min Read
Ultra Cool 2.0 FFS cooling system
The Ultra Cool 2.0 FFS cooling system enables blown film output rates exceeding 600 kg/hr.Image courtesy of Reifenhäuser

The attributes that have made plastic so popular — its durability, light weight, flexibility, and impermeability — are also its downfall when it becomes waste, according to Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Chief Scientific Officer of Reifenhäuser GmbH & Co. “Plastic floats — it does not decompose, it does not dissolve,” he told the German plastics and rubber association VDMA recently. If recyclability had been taken into account from the beginning of the product development process in addition to cost and functionality, at least 80% of plastics would be recyclable today, he said. Instead, an emphasis on functional optimization has produced plastics, such as multi-layer films, that are difficult or impossible to recycle. “I am convinced that we can and must change this,” stressed Reifenhäuser in the VDMA interview. It’s a message that the Reifenhäuser Group, a plastics extrusion technology specialist based in Troisdorf, Germany, will amplify at K 2022 under the theme, “The Time Is Now.” The company gave a preview of the innovations it will be highlighting at the show in October during a press preview in June in Düsseldorf.

Reifenhäuser has three booths of its own at the K, and is also part of an open-air pavilion as a partner in the R-Cycle initiative, which has developed a traceability standard for sustainable plastic packaging. The R-Cycle’s Digital Product Passport will be the topic of a forthcoming article in PlasticsToday.

At the main booth (C 22) in hall 17, the company’s blown film, cast sheet coating, and Reicofil businesses will be showcased. The emphasis will be on the economical manufacture of fully recyclable products, the processing of recyclates, and how a fully networked system can increase output.

In particular, the cast sheet coating division will demonstrate a patent pending process, called Ultrathin Coating, for cost-effective film and nonwoven composites. The process reportedly can reduce film grammage by 66%, material consumption by 28%, and cost by as much as 34% compared with conventional semi-finished products.

Ultrathin Coating technology

The Lamicor-CL laminator is at the heart of the Ultrathin Coating system.

Ultrathin Coating notably has attracted interest from makers of medical protective clothing. “We are currently experiencing a sustained increase in demand for medical protective clothing combined with a return strategy for local production capacity,” said Mark Borutta of Reifenhäuser Cast Sheet Coating. Producers achieve a rapid return on investment by adopting this process, he added, even when production is based in Europe. Whether manufacturers handle the coating process internally or choose to import the composites, the return on investment is typically less than 12 months, according to the company.

The technology will be showcased at the main Reifenhauser booth, C22, in hall 17.

Other technologies that Reifenhauser will be presenting at K 2022 include:

  • A fully recyclable pouch with barrier properties suitable for food packaging. Based on the All-PE mono-pouch, the pouch achieves oxygen barrier requirements with less than 5% of ethylene-vinyl alcohol (EVOH) content, meeting all recycling requirements, according to Reifenhäuser. The patented EVO Ultra Stretch system increases the barrier properties of EVOH, thus enabling a reduction in use of the material.

Reifenhäuser ALL-PE pouch

The Reifenhäuser barrier pouch is fully recyclable.

  • A high-performance cooling system for the EVO FFS blown film line. Specially developed for heavy-duty sack applications, the system increases cooling capacity by more than 20% compared with comparable systems on the market. Output rates of more than 600 kg/hr can be achieved with 175-mm die diameters while maintaining optimal film properties.

  • The Reifenhäuser Extrusion Systems business unit will present its portfolio of screws, barrels, and extruders in hall 11 at booth C16. A key talking point at the stand will be high-performance wear protection, which is especially important for reliability and profitability when processing recycled materials, according to Reifenhäuser. The company’s Reiloy wear protection alloys will be front and center at the stand. Innovations in flat dies and co-extrusion blocks also will be featured at stand C16, especially a coordinated interactive design that results in increased productivity.

extrusion barrels

Reifenhäuser will exhibit its range of extrusion screws and barrels in hall 11 at booth C16.


About the Author(s)

Norbert Sparrow

Editor in chief of PlasticsToday since 2015, Norbert Sparrow has more than 30 years of editorial experience in business-to-business media. He studied journalism at the Centre Universitaire d'Etudes du Journalisme in Strasbourg, France, where he earned a master's degree.


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