Ftex & Ikegai: Extrusion of PET sheet from undried bottle flake

Ftex, Inc. ,Japan, has jointly developed with Ikegai Corp., Japan,a two-stage reactive extrusion system for producing transparent PET sheet directly from undried bottle flake. The process uses technology developed by Dainippon Jushi Kenkyusho (DJK) Co. that quickly restores molecular weight (I.V.) lost during production of the original bottles from which the recycled flake was recovered. The system starts with a twin-screw extruder, into which a premix of PET flake and catalyst is fed. In this first stage, moisture and air are removed from the material, and the catalytic reaction is begun. The reaction is completed in a second- stage single-screw extruder that produces the sheet. Total residence time is 2-5 minutes. Ikegai has built a prototype machine and plans to build a larger model, capable of 1.2 million lb/yr.

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