Italian melt filter company Fimic has developed a filter technology to tackle a tough plastics stream: PVC from electrical cables.
“Electric cables have always been a material particularly difficult to sort and recycle, not only for the characteristics of the material itself, which is very easy to degrade and needs to be processed with attention, but also for the high level of contamination contained,” according to the company. “Not only copper and aluminum in high percentages, but also rubber and other not melted plastics make this material a tough challenge.”
In developing the technology, Fimic worked with an extruder manufacturer that excels in the area of flexible PVC and a customer that has been working on the PVC recycling effort for more than four years.
The RAS Fimic filter, which has been modified for PVC, collects a high level of contamination inside a hollow blades holder. It discharges the contamination based on a pre-set pressure.
Because the contamination is so high in the stream, estimated at more than 20 percent, the machine is set so that blades continuously scrape contaminants off the stainless steel screen. After two years of trials, Fimic believes the ideal screen for this application is one with 150-micron openings (0.15 of a millimeter) and a large open area.
“This plastic material, generally considered unmanageable, has been successfully processed and four different clients have been confirming its efficacy,” according to Fimic.
Plastics Recycling Update: Technology Edition featured the company’s automatic, self-cleaning filter technology this summer.