Right: Hainan Huasheng has selected Maag pelletising technology for its new

world-scale polycarbonate plant in China

range and extending up to 36,000 kg/h. A PEARLO 160 model presented at Fakuma 2018 provided a through- put of 1,000-6,000 kg/h. Compact and modular in design,

PEARLO systems are said to require only a small production footprint. Features include the electronically controlled EAC technology, which ensures precise positioning of the pelletising knives during operation. This means long run-times free of interruptions with consistently high pellet quality, according to Maag. Typical applications include production of wood- and natural fibre-filled compounds, thermo- plastic elastomers, and rubbers.

Maag has also developed the EBG belt convey- or pelletising system, which is specifically designed for compounding of water-sensitive or highly filled (greater than 60%) fragile products. The company says one advantage of the EBG system is the easy handling for start-up and line cleaning due to its lightweight design and quickly exchangeable mesh belt. The machine is said to be well suited to the production of brittle highly filled compounds because of the reduced stretching and stress placed on the strands and the active conveying from extrusion die to pelletiser intake. The belt system also prevents strand breakages by continu- ous take up without any strand deflection. Maag recently secured a contract to supply equipment, including pelletising systems as well as pumps and screenchangers, to Hainan Huasheng New Material Technology. When completed in 2020, the facility will be one of China’s biggest poly- carbonate plants and will be capable of producing up to 260,000 tonnes/yr (573m pounds) of polycar- bonate for applications in electronics, automotive, aircraft, railway and security components, construc- tion materials, and data-storage devices. Maag says that it was chosen by Hainan Huasheng for the new facility because of the reputation it has built up since the 1980s for systems used in the production of polycarbonate. Around 90% of polycarbonate produced globally is manufactured using Maag equipment, the com- pany claims. It says it has more than 200 production lines in operation, some of which include pelletising systems capable of producing up to 14 tonnes (28,000 pounds) of polycarbonate per hour.

LFT pelletising The automotive industry’s focus on emission reduction has seen a growing interest in light weight materials and designs. Long fibre reinforced

50 COMPOUNDING WORLD | January 2019

thermoplastics (LFTs) provide big opportunities to cut weight but present particular challenges for pelletisers due to their high rigidity and glass reinforcement content. With its P-Series pelletisers and haul-offs, US-based Bay Plastics Machinery (BPM) has developed a strong position in the North American LFT production sector. The company’s Vice President of Sales Jim Forgash says it is now looking to replicate that success in the European market. The P-Series machines have been engineered specifically to handle tough pultruded LFT strands. Cutting geometry has been optimised to provide a clean cut with minimal wear on the blades while an isolation coupler eliminates rotor deflection. Dual flywheels increase the intertia while digital pellet length control allows on the fly adjustment. More than 100 P-Series units have been delivered to the market for applications ranging from laboratories up to production models offering a 1,000mm cutting width capable of handling up to 200 3mm diameter strands at feed rates of up to 135 m/min. LFTs also present some unique feeding chal-

lenges, especially in high volume production. BPM’s P-Series Pultrusion puller is designed to grip and convey the highly rigid LFT strands to the pelletiser without bending them, avoiding the risk of internal fibre separation and cracking which can lead to compromised final part performance.



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