Today, plastics are a ubiquitous material with countless areas of application, including in consumer products, the automotive sector and industry. Yet, on the one hand, raw materials are becoming more expensive and on the other, the disposal of plastics can sometimes cause major environmental problems. However, in many cases, recycling plastics is an option, which allows a cost-effective and environmentally friendly circular economy to be established with these materials.
The Dutch plastics company Healix specializes in such a circular economy. Using waste from ropes, twine, nets and other technical textiles, the manufacturer obtains pure circular polymers for the global manufacturing supply chain. Marcel Alberts, Managing Director of Healix, explains: “To ensure we meet the high quality requirements of our customers, we must check the melt flow index of our recycled polypropylene (rPP) and high density polyethylene (rHDPE) very precisely. Otherwise, disruptions may result in the production process.”
To measure the flow rate, either the mass (MFR measurement) or the volume (MVR measurement) of the melted plastic per unit of time that flows through a standardized test die is determined. For this purpose, Healix uses the universally applicable melt index tester from ZwickRoell known as the Mflow. The testing instrument has a modular design and the use of the piston displacement transducer enables the determination of the melt volume flow rate (MVR) as well as automatic, field-dependent parameterization. Another major advantage is that with multi-instrument operation of up to six extrusion plastometers, all instruments can be configured and controlled via a PC with just one testing software system, testXpert.
Healix produces approximately 20 tons of recycled plastic per day and examines a specimen from each 1,250 kg container. The respective test values are included with the containers upon delivery to the customer. “Healix's recycled granulate is of high quality, making it suitable for closed-loop recycling (fiber-to-fiber). This is only possible if our product meets the strictest quality requirements. We leave nothing to chance and, therefore, rely on testing equipment from ZwickRoell for our quality control,” emphasizes Alberts.