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FIMIC likes challenges
Source:FIMIC    Editor:FIMIC    Date:18.Aug.2020


FIMIC, a leading player in the plastic recycling market for more than 50 years, is now widely known and appreciated for its self-cleaning filters for plastic waste recycling. Its flagship machine, the RAS scraping melt filter, has demonstrated to the industry how it is possible to manage complicated and heavily contaminated plastics to obtain excellent quality pellets.

The Company has been able to meet the market needs, which have become increasingly demanding over the years. The need to be able to produce materials that could be reused in more sophisticated applications has grown exponentially over the past 10 years. For this reason, FIMIC has focused on continuous research and development, reaching filtrations up to 80 microns, through the use of the latest laser-drilling technologies that made it possible to perform a very large number of holes on metal sheets of different thicknesses, accurately choosing several parameters (type of material, distance between holes, treatments, etc.).

The company’s experience has been based for years on the typical polymers intended for recycling, like LDPE and LLDPE from packaging, PP from crates, bins, or big bags, HDPE from pipes or bottles etc. FIMIC has over time managed these materials better and better and with proportionally lower operational costs. To date, with the RAS filter you can manage LDPE and LLDPE from post-commercial packaging (for example wrap films, including paper labels) to obtain a pellet quality that can be used to film up to 17-20 microns. or you can process HDPE from bottles regrinds, which is filtered up to 100 microns even at high outputs (1500-1800 kg/h) to produce excellent-quality, heavy-duty HDPE pipes.

But times changed and plastic recycling can no longer be limited to the regeneration of just a few materials, no matter how predominant they are. It is our own society that requires ever greater efforts to prevent plastic from becoming a problem instead of a great resource.

Confident of its previous experience, FIMIC has therefore decided to turn its attention even to applications that were always considered more complicated and that were therefore neglected. In particular, two fields were heavily explored: the first is PVC (soft and hard), considered a material that has to be carefully treated given the possibility of the release of the dangerous vinyl chloride and in general for its corrosiveness over time and its tendency to degrade; the second is the plastic that comes from the recovery of WEEE, which can contain contaminants sometimes difficult to manage.

In both applications, the Company entered only after extensive internal research and tests were completed, before installing the machine for end users.

In PVC, after about three years of testing, the machine was first installed at a large player in Germany. This company processes soft PVC from garden hoses, with contamination mainly composed of fibres (PES or PA, from 0.5% up to 4%) in addition to other minor contaminations such as dust, wood, and aluminium. Previously, the company used slide plate filters, but was unable to process the material at less than 400 microns (40 mesh) and was forced to change the screens frequently. With the RAS Filter it can now work continuously for 4-6 days, before having to change the screen (an operation that takes less than 30 minutes from a single operator), as well as reducing the filtration (and therefore increase the quality of the finished product) to 150 microns (100 mesh). As for the risk of corrosion, the filtering chamber has been completely treated against it, and it has been verified that the material always flows continuously inside the machine and therefore there is no risk of material degradation.

Plastics waste coming from WEEE, the first FIMIC machines were installed in Scandinavia, at a company reprocessing ABS and PS regrinds, coming indeed from the recovery of electronic waste. The change for the customer was truly remarkable. From the need to constantly employ four operators for two lines, now only one is needed. The savings are therefore significant, both in terms of personnel but also in terms of operational costs, as it switched from typically one screen change every 15 minutes (on a slide plate filter) to now using a FIMIC laser screen for up to three months in a row, with no need to intervene. Plus, the production of the extruder has increased by 20%, despite reducing filtration fineness down to 150 microns.

FIMIC Official Websitehttps://www.fimic.it/en/



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