Unlike other items thrown away on a daily basis, such as paper waste and food waste, plastics are not biodegradable, so landfills accumulate large amounts or plastic jugs, bottles and bags. The first step in preparing thermoplastic materials for reuse is processing them through a granulator. As the material is fed into the granulator, it falls into the cutting chamber where rotating knives pass alongside stationary knives, shearing the plastic (think scissors). High impact plastics that cannot be sheared easily are granulated as the knives cut the plastic like an axe, shattering it. The output is chips of a random size and shape; the maximum chip size is dictated by a screen at the exit of the cutting chamber. The plastic is cut down further and further until it reaches a small enough size to fit through the screen.
Once reduced to small flakes, recycled plastics can easily be molded into a variety of new products. Most often, recycled plastics are formed into new plastic products such as plastic tables and chairs, polar fleece, carpeting, picnic tables, bottles, fences, floor tiles and pens. One growing trend for the reuse of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic containers- the most commonly consumed plastic that makes up beverage containers, mouthwash bottles, salad dressing containers and other similar items, is to create fabrics used in the clothing industry. The fabrics are created by spinning the PET flakes into thread and yarn.
Along with being environmentally friendly, this method is also cost-effective because not only does the company reduce their disposal costs, they also gain money from selling the raw material to manufacturers who will reshape it into new plastic products. Overall the quantity of plastics recycled has increased every year since 1990. 2.2 million tons of plastics were recycled in the U.S. in 2008. As more and more cities and states learn from their success, plastic recycling rates will only continue to grow.
The Cumberland Model 24 3KN Granulator is perfect for getting a wide variety of plastic materials quickly down to a uniform size and ready to be molded into new products. It is powered by a 125 hp, 460 V, 3-phase electric motor. The granulator has a 24.5″ x 20″ throat opening with 5/8″ screens and comes equipped with feed hopper, stand and controls. Worldwide Recycling Equipment Sales, LLC is constantly replenishing its stock; to see all granulators and plastic recycling equipment available now, click here. To see full company inventory of all products, click here.