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05.02.2018 Infrared drum dries high-water-content polymers

KREYENBORG Plant Technology, Senden, Germany, has perfected a method for drying PTFE/SAN mixtures using its Infrared Rotary Drum (IRD) dryer. PTFE, widely known under the brand name Teflon®, and SAN – styrene-acrylonitrile copolymer – are combined into a single product in this process, through a combination of applied heat and careful mixing. The PTFE/SAN mixture has a high stickiness and a tendency to clump very quickly. This is dried within just a few minutes, reducing the water content from more than 25% to about 0.3%. While this is happening the mixture is in constant movement inside the drum, preventing the material from sticking while at the same time homogeneous energy input is ensured. The process is considerably shortened by the special efficiency of the infrared treatment, without the product’s colours being affected. The first batch of material is able to leave the IRD after about 20 minutes, compared with the usual 3-4 hours for a convective dryer. Thanks to the very low residual moisture, the PTFE/SAN is then ready for grinding.
Energy savings of 30% on average are said to be easily achievable. The raw material is heated directly with infrared light, so that moisture is driven from the core of the material outwards. The raw material is conveyed uniformly through the machine and gently circulated by the rotation of the drum and heated evenly, ensuring that clumps are eliminated. Low speed prevents breakage and minimises abrasion. 
In addition to cost-efficient drying of PTFE/SAN, the KREYENBORG Infrared Rotary Drum has proved to be similarly effective with many other polymer materials

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