It’s All About Fibers

It's All About Fibers
Fibers represent major processing challenges, especially in recycling operations.

Yet there are solutions for a wide range of applications on the horizon, thanks to the FiberXpert feeder and basic research performed by Brabender Technologie.

Take the example of carbon fibers – manufacturing carbon fiber panels often generates a great deal of waste, which needs to be disposed of. Dr. Rudolf Emmerich and Dr. Jan Kuppinger from the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) wrote in a paper published in 2014: “The use of preforms to manufacture CFRP components using the Liquid Composite Moulding (LCM) method generates up to 40 percent waste, which also entails a considerable commercial loss.” Given that carbon-reinforced materials are being used more and more frequently, both environmental and commercial pressures are increasing. The problem is that shredding these panels produces uneven flakes and fibers which snag mechanically on product bridges and don’t reach feed screws. Their mixed consistency makes feeding extremely difficult.

FiberXpert especially for recycled materials

Brabender Technologie has a reliable solution for feeding problems involving recycled materials: the FiberXpert FX50. This fiber feeder was specially developed for feeding recycled materials like carbon and natural fibers, recycled PP, PET and bottle flakes, shredded plastic or carpet residues and other fiber products like cellulose, acrylic, aramid, PPS, polyamide, polymer or polyester fibers. Long, unevenly cut and non-flow-capable fibers can be fed reliably with the aid of a special fiber screw, hopper design with large inflow cross-section, large, steep-walled hopper and special agitator geometry and positioning.

Potential applications for the FiberXpert include mixing in strengtheners or fillers during the compounding process as well as biopolymers, recycling plastics, fibers in building materials, or in the production of films/foils, where offcuts or waste from the startup process are recovered.

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Brabender Technologie is a worldwide leader in the manufacture of gravimetric and volumetric feed and discharge devices. Our metering, weighing, and discharging equipment is installed globally throughout a diverse group of industries for batch and continuous processes.

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