8 Must-Have Tips for Processing Low Bulk Density Materials
Processing low bulk density materials can present a number of challenges for plastic processors. However, with the right approach and techniques, it is possible to produce high-quality end products with excellent consistency and uniformity.
Here are some of the key do’s and don’ts of processing low bulk density materials:
- Use the right equipment: It is important to use the right type of equipment when processing low bulk density materials to ensure efficient and effective processing. This includes specialized feeders and auxiliary equipment. System design is key. Lean on vendors to guide you to the correct solution.
- Monitor material flow: Monitoring the flow of low bulk density materials is crucial in order to prevent bridging, clogging, and static build-up. This issue can be avoided by using sensors, flow meters, anti-static components and other monitoring tools.
- Control temperature and moisture: An essential element is controlling the temperature and moisture levels of material. Fluctuations can cause material to expand, contract, or clump together affecting the flow rate and quality of end product. Avoid this problem with Material Pre-Treatment Units utilizing Compressed Air, Hot Air or Desiccant Drying Technology.
- Minimize air entrapment: Air entrapment can be a major issue with recycled materials which affects the quality of the end product. Imperfections in the end product results in rejected parts and increase waste. Once again, Material Pre-Treatment Units utilizing Compressed Air, Hot Air or Desiccant Drying Technology can help solve these issues.
- Don’t ignore material quality: Variations in the Melt Flow Index (MFI) and quality of the low bulk density material used in processing can have a significant impact on the end product. Regular MFI testing of inbound material feedstocks to ensure consistency from your suppliers can help to achieve optimal end product results.
- Don’t over-compact the material: Over-compacting the material can cause it to become too dense and affects consistency of material flow rate leading to blockages and decreased throughput rates. It is important to use properly sized material and vacuum lines, receivers, material agitation technology and storage techniques to avoid over packing material.
- Don’t use excessive force: Oversized vacuum systems can put excessive force on low bulk density materials. This can cause material degradation leading to excess dust and additional unnecessary wear and tear on the feeding equipment in the system. It is important to convey material at a correct and steady rate according to the system design, to avoid excessive force on the material.
- Don’t ignore all application requirements: Different types of low bulk density materials may have unique application requirements, such as specific moisture levels or particle sizes. Ignoring any requirements can cause the system and its reliability to turn out poorly directly effecting uptime and Return on Investment. Having a comprehensive understanding of the application requirements will reduce downtime, waste and increase profits in the long run.
Download the guide here: The Dos and Don’ts of Processing Low Bulk Density Materials
In conclusion, processing low bulk density materials requires a specialized approach to ensure high-quality end products with consistent and uniform results. By following the do’s and don’ts outlined above, plastic processors can overcome the challenges associated with low bulk density materials.
Additionally, Plastic processors can reduce costs when processing low bulk density materials by implementing the following strategies:
- Material handling optimization: Handling low-density materials can be challenging and increase processing costs. Implementing material handling systems that minimize material losses and reduce manual handling can help reduce costs.
- Equipment optimization: Using specialized equipment designed to handle low bulk density materials can increase processing efficiency and reduce costs.
- Process optimization: Reviewing and optimizing the processing steps to reduce material waste, improve material utilization, and minimize energy consumption can help reduce costs.
- Material selection: Choosing alternative materials with higher bulk densities can reduce material handling costs and improve processing efficiency.
- Energy-efficient technology: Implementing energy-efficient technology such as more efficient cooling systems, heating systems, and motor controls can help reduce energy costs associated with processing low bulk density materials.
It is important to work closely with vendors who can guide you to the correct technology solutions on processing materials efficiency and effectively. E.g. the Opti-Flake system for recycling post-consumer PET bottles.