In the process of recycling, Plastic shredders are utilized to reduce the size of larger plastic products to fine, evenly sized particles also known as granules.
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Purpose of Plastic Shredders
Plastic is a vital and versatile material, but can be difficult to dispose of once a plastic product has no longer become useful. Fortunately, plastic shredders are able to effectively break down scrap and used plastic products in order for the plastic to be effectively melted down and used to fabricate new products. Plastic shredders are an important part of the plastic recycling process, and can be designed to process plastic products of a wide variety of sizes and configurations. These items include pipes, plastic bales, car parts, drums, profiles, packaging material, small bottles, and small bags.
Design of Plastic Shredders
Each processing shaft is designed, to some extent, to absorb sound and vibration. They are equipped with a set of at least two rotors that are made from steel or stainless steel, making them durable, easy to clean, and resistant to corrosion. The rotors feature rotating blades that cut through and tear apart the plastic material. Once the material is broken down, the granules are collected in a dispenser basket. In order to ensure uniformity and that they are small enough to be effectively melted down, the granules may be sifted through a screen.
In addition to the desired output, another consideration to make is the capacity in which the materials are being shredded. The larger the machine’s capacity, the larger the volume of materials can be shredded at a time, reducing the need for additional cycles. If a shredder is used at its full capacity, the likelihood of the machine needing frequent maintenance increases. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you choose a shredder whose capacity is slightly higher than you need. Balancing the capacity is essential for successfully installing a shredder, as oversizing the load may increase both power consumption and necessary space.
Types of Plastic Shredders
Depending on how large the shredding operation is, plastic shredders can also be equipped with more than one processing shaft. Horizontal shredders are recommended for long, linear products such as siding and profiles. Alternatively, vertical shredders are used for all other types of product. Shredders can also be either automatic or manual. Automatic feeders utilize a conveyor belt to load materials into the shredder, in turn optimizing the shredder’s performance and the time needed to shred the materials. Shredders with a manual feeder feature a hopper where materials are either fed by a forklift or by hand.
Application of Plastic Shredders
Plastic is not a biodegradable material. However, many types of plastic are recyclable. Thus, it is possible to keep waste and production costs at a minimum, and cut down the demand for petrochemicals that are used to process plastic. Therefore, it is highly recommended that a used plastic product be recycled if possible. Plastic shredders are also used outside of the recycling industry, such as in the fields of electronics, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics. There are some instances where a plastic shredder doesn’t reduce material to a small enough granule size. In these cases, a granulator may be used alongside the plastic shredder as a secondary process to reduce the granules to an even smaller size. Various types of plastics can be put through a plastic shredder, including LDPE, HIPE, HDPE, and PVC. There are some types of plastic shredders that are used for specific types of products.
Standards & Specifications for Plastic Shredders
According to numerous studies, people who operate plastic shredding equipment or who work in close proximity to them may be at risk for inhaling potentially hazardous dust that the plastic shredder expels. Therefore, regulations have been put in place regarding air quality and safety in the workspace to keep this risk to a minimum. In selecting a shredder, it is important to consider safety, noise, portability, and maintenance requirements. Portable shredders allow for more flexibility, but are not at all practical if large volumes and heavy loads are necessary.
Plastic shredders are built to endure strong vibrations and a heavy amount of stress. However, it is important to analyze the maintenance requirements of a shredder before making the final purchase. For example, the blades of the shredder will eventually wear down and become dull, requiring the blades to be sharpened, adjusted, or replaced. Due to the wide range of configurations in which plastic shredders are available, requirements such as labor costs, cost and availability of spare parts, and downtime. Fortunately, shredder manufacturers will work alongside you to make sure you invest in a shredder with all of the appropriate specifications.