Aqua Plastics pairs its Weima shredder with a Pallmann granulator for increased versatility. Image: Aqua Plastics

Purchased to increase productivity, a single-shaft, ram-fed Weima shredder has proved so versatile the company that owns it is able to tackle a wider array of projects.

Aqua Plastics, Hickory, North Carolina, provides toll shredding, grinding and compounding services and manufactures recycled polyethylene (PE) compounds from scrap it purchases. With its WLK 15 single-shaft shredder from Weima America, Fort Mill, South Carolina, it has performed unexpected tasks.

A key to expanding its capabilities was pairing its 90-horsepower WLK 15 with a 100-horsepower PFV 50-700 Pallmann granulator. The combination can achieve a throughput of 2,400 pounds per hour or more. “We haven’t been able to max it out,” says Randall Cline, general manager for Aqua Plastics.

A recent application for the shredder-granulator combination is processing foam PE purge. The purge exhibits a variety of densities, from rigid, unfoamed PE through a transitional phase, all the way to completely foamed material. The shredder handles the complete range, Cline says.

“We’re able to shred that material, and then we separate the purge from the foamed polyethylene with an elutriation system. We have this coupled with the granulator, and the [granulated material] goes through the elutriation system. And then we can separate both densities of materials,” he says.

Another project involves processing plastic parts with metal inserts. “Never before have we introduced metal into the [previous] shredder,” he says.

The Weima shredder also can process very large pieces of scrap.

Madison Burt, vice president of sales for Weima America, says, “By putting the shredder in, they were able to put in much larger pieces and be able to process without the labor risk of having to pre-cut the material.”

Aqua also adapted the WLK 15 to shred PET and fiber, which it then baled.

“We’ve been able to divert quite a bit of material from the landfill with the help of this machine,” Cline says.

The author is a correspondent for Plastics Machinery Magazine and can be contacted at agerlat@plasticsmachinerymagazine.com.