A plastic granulator is a machine used to break down scrap plastic products to make them easier to recycle. Recent surveys indicate that discarded bottles, bags, and packaging represent up to 40% of the solid waste tossed out in communities across the country. Unfortunately, unlike most other products made from raw materials and natural substances, discarded plastic is not biodegradable, leaving it to pollute the environment for thousands of years. This means that recycling is the only way to reduce the amount of plastic waste in landfills and waterways.
In most industrial recycling facilities, a granulator is the key piece of equipment used to chop up plastic offcuts and scrap into process-ready material. A granulator works by shearing and smashing plastic offcuts to create small particles, or “granules,” that are easy for extruders to feed into the process of molding and extruding.
Using a plastic granulator is one of the most efficient ways to recycle plastic because the process of reducing plastic into granules takes significantly less energy than melting or pressing it into a new shape. This is because a granulator only uses mechanical force and compression, rather than heat or chemical reactions. Moreover, a granulator can also handle very thick or hard-to-machine materials because it doesn’t require the high operating temperatures that a melter does to work.
There are a few different types of plastic granulators in use. Most of them are found in processing plants, although some smaller models can be purchased for home or office use. In general, these machines are rated by how many pounds of material they can process in an hour. They are usually also available with a variety of blade sizes and configurations to handle the different types of scrap plastics.
The most common type of granulator is the side-of-the-machine model that’s installed beside a plastic extruder or injection molder. This machine is used to grind relatively low volumes of sprues, runners, off-spec parts, and edge trim from film lines for immediate recycling back into the production line. Central granulators are generally much larger, more powerful machines located in rooms separate from the main factory floor. These are used to chop up centralized piles of scrap plastics like pipe or profile extrusions, wide material like sheet, or unwind and granulate off-spec or startup film rolls.
While a plastic granulator is an effective and efficient device for reducing post-consumer plastic waste, it can also be difficult to maintain and operate safely. In addition to requiring a great deal of power and attention, this kind of equipment produces a lot of noise that can be disruptive to operations and employees’ hearing. To minimize this disruption, it’s important for workplaces to follow a few basic safety guidelines. Ensure that the granulator’s knives are not in motion when workers enter and exit the machinery, and keep them oiled and sharp to reduce the risk of injury. They should also ensure that daily safety checks are conducted and granulators undergo regular inspection by a qualified person. Finally, it’s essential to have a clear plan for storing and handling granulated plastic waste to avoid fires or explosions. plastic granulator