Recycling plastics with magnets

- By:

Courtesy of Eriez Magnetics Europe Ltd

(from Machine Desgin)


Many plastics manufacturers use processes like sequential 3D blow-in molding and two-shot injection molding, but they create a lot of scrap during start-ups or due to flashing and defects. This waste can be hand cut and sorted to salvage some of the higher-end plastic, but manual labor is expensive.  As a result, most is thrown away because it is mixed with so many other resins. A new process and machine from Eriez Magnetics, Erie, Pa., embeds magnets particles in a resin, letting a machine pick it out for the other resins.


The process begins with magnetic particles called PolyMag added to the high-priced or most-valuable resin, such as SantoPrene – at a 1:99 ratio. The magnetic additive doesn’t affect the resin’s properties. Then, if a run of 100 parts has defects, they get ground up and sent through the PolyMag Separator. The Separator pulls out Santoprene using a magnet. Once complete, the recycled Santoprene is of high-enough quality to be reused. The process saves money and gives company a cost-effective way to recycle polymers and plastics.

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