What’s a Pelletizer?

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Pelletizers crush rock and coal into pellets for other applications. The original hydraulic system is over 30 years old, but modern designs use an electric motor and water slide to reduce operator handling. Water jets and a centrifugal water separator remove moisture from the resulting pellets. Underwater designs are popular and have a low polymer pressure drop. Most models have a simple start-up and no wire handling is required.

A pelletizer is designed to crush rock and coal into pellets, so it’s usable for other applications. The original pelletizer was developed as a hydraulic system and is more than 30 years old. The modern pelletizer runs on electricity, and the fact that some of the original designs are still in operation today is surprising to many engineers.
Today’s pelletizer uses an electric motor to drive two motors, which power the rollers and rotor. The same system is used all over the world. The modern system uses a water slide design, which reduces how often operators have to handle hot strands of material within the system. In fact, the new water slide pelletizer designs eliminate the stranding process. Instead, the system automatically restarts any wires that stop during normal operation.

The pelletizer also has water jets installed, which sit above the water slide. This allows for maximum cooling of the material being processed. Then, the material passes through a channel where excess water is drained and the pelletizer feed rollers move the material to the cutting area.

At the end of the process, the resulting pellets are dropped back into the cooling water for transport to a centrifugal water separator which removes the moisture. This part of the process can be compared to putting the material into the spin cycle of a washing machine to let the moisture escape. There is also a dry cutting system that can remove water before the threads enter the cutting chamber. This system is suitable for materials used with glass filled resins.

One of the most popular pelletizing designs is the underwater design. This system is used for many applications including underwater rescue operations. The underwater pelletizing system has a low polymer pressure drop design engineered for the application. Also, it has tiled or solid-faced plates. The underwater pelletizing units feature a floating deck for ease of use and are secured with a water chamber.

By agency standards, most pelletizer models come with a simple start-up and no wire handling is required. There are no timing issues with water flow, and the hot face cutting is not vulnerable to melt flow disruptions, which saves time and solves safety concerns as well.

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