Hannover-based machine manufacturer KraussMaffei Berstorff announced that it built and supplied the new compounding line, which FKuR has brought on stream for the production of its biopolymer materials. This is the third line from KraussMaffei Berstorff that this German producer of biodegradable and biobased polymer compounds has installed.
According to Lars Darnedde, responsible for process engineering in the field of biopolymer compounding and processing at KraussMaffei Berstorff, bioplastics compounding is a growth market, in which the company has already sold a total of 10 customized lines. He said that biopolymers, in particular the drop-in materials bio PE and bio PET, but also starch and PLA blends, had firmly established themselves in the market over the last few years.
"The global production of biopolymers increased from 249 kt in 2009 to about 1,160 kt in 2011 and experts expect the figure to quintuple to about 5,780 kt by 2016," he said.
One of the pioneers in this area is FKuR, who developed a range of biodegradable and/or biobased compounds, working closely with the Oberhausen-based Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT. With two lines, each equipped with a KraussMaffei Berstorff ZE 50 UTXi twin-screw extruder, already in operation, FKuR has now purchased a third line, equipped with a ZE 75 R UTXi and designed for output rates of up to 1,000 kg/h. An investment decision prompted by the minimum amount of downtime and especially the flexibility experienced with the existing lines, which makes it possible to process a wide range of biopolymers without any retooling being required.
The new KraussMaffei Berstorff line provides FKuR with a state-of-the-art customized package solution - starting from material metering, customized compounding section, up to the sacking system, including platform.
The large free screw volume of the R-series twin-screw extruder ensures reliable feeding of the powdered starting materials and subsequent compounding with high output rates of up to 1,000 kg/h in biopolymer production. The line is designed for processing a wide range of different formulations with variable filler contents.
Applications for the materials produced include all types of flexible film and sheet, such as agricultural, household and hygiene film, as well as thermoformed and injection-molded products.