At this year’s Ligna fair in Hanover, Battenfeld-Cincinnati is showing developments in its fiberEX machine series, specifically designed to process wood plastic composites (WPCs).
Along with its partners Greiner and Kompetenzzentrum Holz, Battenfeld-Cincinnati offers its customers a two-step WPC extrusion process – compounding followed by profile extrusion. “The European market faces a trend towards two-step production due to higher process stability and higher melt homogeneity, resulting in end products with optimized mechanical and physical properties,” says the firm. For the compounding part of the process, there are three methods available; using a heating-cooling mixer, a co-rotating twin screw extruder or a counter-rotating twin screw extruder. Battenfeld-Cincinnati says its lines offer speeds 1.5–2 meters per minute for conventional systems and up to 3.5 meters per minute for high performance extrusion. These line speeds equal outputs of 250 – 300 kilograms per hour up to 450 kilograms per hour. The company says the European WPC market has experienced annual growth rates of around 25 percent since 2003 to reach a volume of 140,000 metric tons in 2010.