Rolling of recycled plastic fibers


A model was developed for the processing of recycled plastic flakes into fibers to study the effect of the various processing parameters. Verification of the fiber rolling model was done by comparing it with the standard flat rolling model, i.e., rolling into flat sheets, by looking at the sample roll-face pressure distributions for the two processes. The roll-face pressure distribution for fiber rolling and flat rolling showed the same basic curve profile, but the fiber rolling had a higher magnitude for the pressure. It seemed reasonable that the rolling and cutting of the plastic into fibers would require a higher roll pressure than the rolling flat sheets. Rolling operations have a neutral point on the rolls, which is the point of maximum or peak pressure. The neutral point for fiber rolling is slightly nearer to the entry compared with flat rolling for the same percentage reduction in cross-sectional area. After verifying the fiber rolling model with the flat rolling model, a parametric study was performed on the fiber rolling model, which showed how the processing parameters affected the roll-face pressure distribution and the torque required to turn the rolls: the coefficient of friction between the rolls and the plastic flakes, the size and shape of the fibers created, the initial thickness of the plastic flakes, and the roll radius. The model was useful in understanding the basic science of the fiber rolling process, and would be useful in optimizing the design of rolling mill if this is developed into a commercial process.

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Journal of Materials Processing Technology