Krauss Maffei Extrusion, distributed through HBM – have had notable sales success for WPC (Wood Plastic Composite) profile extrusion machinery, supplying approximately 30 plus systems since the technology was introduced in 2006, and with a number of new projects currently in production.
The success is attributed in part to the unique high wear resistant characteristics of the Krauss Maffei screw and barrel design which is a key feature when producing these extremely abrasive products.
Natural fiber extrusion, in particular WPC has many advantages over conventional polymers. It has a lower processing cost, as wood fiber is the primary filler and produces a final product with a wood like natural appearance. The wood fibers are CO² neutral, and provide better thermal insulation and increased stiffness over a single polymer matrix.
The advantages over conventional wood include:-
• Reduced maintenance – does not require painting or rot proofing processing
• Splinter, cleaving and distortion proof
• Safe from pests such as termites, micro-organisms & vermin
• Environmentally friendly as the material can be reused, or used as heating material
WPC is currently used to produce products within the building and leisure industries such as decking in home and commercial environments including boating marinas, outdoor furniture and within homes for window ledges or mantels. A German footwear company has even adopted the technology for use for the production of its footwear
Krauss Maffei have both counter rotating twin screw and co-rotating twin screw extruders that are used for WPC processing. The counter rotating twin screw extruder was specially designed for processing WPC and has screw diameters ranging from 75 to 130mm, with throughputs ranging from 170 to 550 kg/hr. The co-rotating twin screw ZE series of extruders are high output machines with screw diameters ranging from 47 to 104mm and throughputs of 135 to 1,000kg/hr.