Expert for fiber recycling
Manufacturing carbon fiber panels can generate a great deal of waste which then requires disposal. The FiberXpert from Brabender Technologie helps to solve this problem as it can feed a large range of long fibers”, Bruno Dautzenberg, General Manager of Brabender Technologie, explains.
Problem with product bridging
Waste of 40 percent causes considerable financial loss. Shredding these panels produces flakes and fibers that when mixed together make feeding extremely difficult. Most natural fibers have similar flow characteristics and difficulty feeding when used as a renewable raw material to reinforce plastics. Similar to carbon fibers, natural fibers mechanically interlock often resulting in the formation of product bridges and starving of the feed screw. “These products do not flow of their own accord but have to be moved”, Jochen Keesen, Head of Brabender Technologie’s Technical Center, explains. “Traditional stirring agitators or vibration cannot work with these materials.”The same applies to PP and PET flakes or other shredded materials like bottle flakes (shredded PET bottles). Here the intermediate recycling step of re-pelletizing can be eliminated if the flakes can be fed directly into the manufacturing process. Another application is the feeding of shredded film from plastic film production edge trim waste. This feeding results in a 10-30 % productivity gain, which until now has been difficult to process. “Many feeding test inquiries prove that FiberXpert is filling this gap”, Bruno Dautzenberg states.
New Technical Center is ready for action
A testing line is available for FiberXpert in the new Technical Center including the important issue of filling the feeder. “In particular bulk material filling is a critical factor for this piece of equipment. We are able to simulate the whole process in our new Technical Center”, General Manager Horst Vohwinkel explains. FiberXpert can be used with a wide range of very different materials, as it has many optional features. These need to be configured individually for each customer. Therefore, the feeder is available in different sizes. “Now we have the possibility of testing complete lines, including refill“, Horst Vohwinkel relates. “That enables us and our customers to put suitable feeding processes in place even for bulk materials that are more challenging to handle.”