Brabender Technologie solves the problem of fiber feeding

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Brabender Technologie solves the problem of fiber feeding

Duisburg, September 2016

  • Innovative feeding of natural fibers, wood fibers, long carbon fibers and film chips
  • To be presented at K 2016 in Dusseldorf, 19th – 26th October in Hall 10, Stand A41.

With its new fiber feeder, Brabender Technologie is breaking new ground in the feeding of long and uneven fibers. While conventional feeders used to be restricted to short and compact bundles of fibers such as glass fibers, for example, the new feeder is now capable of accurately metering natural fibers, wood fibers, long carbon fibers and film chips.

New fields of application

As one of the main fields of application, the new fiber feeder can be used for shredded film strips. These are waste materials from plastic film production processes, where the film edges are cut off by film edge trimmers. This results in 10-­30 % of unspoilt material, further utilisation of which has until now been difficult. The new feeder allows to refeed the remnants back into the production process as film chips so that they can be recycled. This saves resources and optimises the production process.

Feeding of natural fibers is another field of application. The fiber feeder is capable of metering them reliably, accurately and continuously in filling material or wood-­plastic composites production processes. Carbon fibers are just as difficult to recycle. As reinforcement, they are laminated onto components by a roll. Materials and remnants are left over, the disposal of which is costly. The feeder is designed so that the remnants, as well as the recycled fibers, can continue to be used over and over again.

Functionality

Feeding of such long fibers is made possible by using a special fiber screw, a large steep walled hopper and a novel design and special position of the stirring agitator in the hopper. “This unique and innovative design promotes forced ingredient flow into the screw”, explains Norbert Marek, who provided the idea for the fiber feeder. Considering that the flow characteristics of the ingredients differ significantly, design details vary in each individual case. The company maintains confidentiality regarding the exact construction of the feeder.

What is no secret, however, is how important the control system is for reliable fiber feeding. The ratio of feed screw and stirring agitator speeds is essential. “Our CM plus or CB plus controllers are responsible for this”, emphasises Norbert Marek. The optimum ratio of screw and agitator speeds can be individually determined by feeding trials in Brabender's test lab to be adjusted accordingly during feeder start-­up.

Hitting the right spot in the market

“We are certain that we have hit the right spot in the market with this innovation”, claim Horst Vohwinkel and Bruno Dautzenberg, both managing directors. “With the fiber feeder, we are not only resolving a well-­known
feeding problem, but are also opening up new ways of processing materials that have up to now been  considered unfeedable.”

Brabender Technologie will be presenting its fiber feeder at K 2016 in Dusseldorf, 19th – 26th October, in Hall 10, Stand A41.