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Styrofoam Manufacturer Heats Things Up

Polystyrene is a versatile plastic widely used to make a variety of consumer products. In its hard, solid plastic form, it can be used to make items such as automobile parts, appliances, gardening pots, and toys. As a foam material, commonly known as Styrofoam, it can be used for appliance insulation, protective packaging, and food packaging. When used as food service packaging, food typically stays fresher longer and generally costs less than its alternatives.

Microscopic pieces of polystyrene dust are generated during the production process. These particulates can cause several issues to the environment, as well as an individual’s health. If exposed to the dust over long periods of time, a person can suffer from irritation of the eyes or skin or, in some cases, develop breathing difficulties. Styrofoam is not biodegradable and over time, can build up along coasts and bodies of water, causing risks to marine life.

A company in France needed to capture the dust generated from a gala dryer in their polystyrene production process. The air exhausted from the dryer was warm and humid, causing the polystyrene dust to become sticky. The company came to AAF for a solution that would allow their process to run continuously, while minimizing the down-time required for frequent filter change-out.

Challenge

The customer was having trouble collecting the polystyrene dust coming from a gala dryer in their production process. The warm and humid air exhausted was causing the polystyrene particles to become sticky.This composition posed a problem for a dry dust collector, as the polystyrene particles would cling to the media, preventing the captured particles from being pulsed off. The build-up on the media led to decreased airflow and shorter filter life.

Solution

The RotoClone® W was selected since it uses water as the primary collection medium. Since there is no fabric filter medium, the high humidity of the air stream is not an issue. Furthermore, the RotoClone® W excels at collecting sticky dusts. Its constant supply of water, along with the centrifugal action of the impeller, prevents the build of slurry in the unit. Additional spray nozzles were added to the inlet for increased cleaning efficiency.

Benefits

The installed RotoClone® W was able to capture the polystyrene particles produced by the drying process. As a result, the unit is able to continuously supply a constant airflow. Since the unit is able to run continuously, the need for scheduled maintenance down-time at the plant was minimized, resulting in lower maintenance costs.