The new IRD installed at Petlon Polymers in Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire-based Petlon Polymers has recently invested in a new extrusion line for the compounding of PET, which incorporates an efficient Kreyenborg Infra-Red Dryer (IRD) for efficient processing.
The dryer, which has been supplied by Regis Machinery, is being used by Petlon to increase its PET output in order to meet increased demand.
“IRD (Infra-Red Rotating Drum technology) is the simplest, user friendly crystalizing and drying system available, which enables very energy efficient processing of PET flakes,” said David Bargery, Managing Director of Regis Machinery.
When compared with conventional dry-air systems, Bargery says the IRD operates with “extraordinary efficiency” by direct heat irradiation. Energy consumption during production can reportedly be reduced significantly, with savings on each kg of polymer that is dried prior to extrusion.
The IRD (Infra-Red Dryer) crystallises and dries the PET to around 300ppm rest moisture in under 15 minutes. An additional 45-60 minutes in a small buffer hopper is sufficient to complete the drying down to approximately 50ppm rest moisture.
“We were able to arrange a four-week trial period for Petlon Polymers to investigate the IRD for themselves and establish that it gave the expected benefits,” continued Bargery.
“Their trials showed that it [the IRD] met all their criteria and proved to be considerably easier to handle than the traditional desiccant drying systems with which they were familiar.”
Commenting on Petlon Polymers investment, Managing Director, Gavin Rees said: “We have proved that Infrared Drying is really the optimum solution when running a wide variety of different recycle materials. Whereas conventional systems are suitable for drying of PET pellets, the IRD can cope with bottle flakes, pellets, or even diverse blends of the two. It doesn’t suffer from becoming blocked by flake material and at any time there is only approx. 150 kg of flake within the flights of the IRD.
“So this means in the case of wanting to rapidly change product, the drum can be rotated (so that the material is discharged) and then within minutes the material is cleared out. For us, the IRD has really proven itself to be a flexible and efficient drying system for PET flakes and pellets.”