Recycling equipment has revolutionized the way businesses handle their waste. Shredders, grinders and granulators are some of the most widely used equipment for recycling waste. Even though all three of them are size reduction machines, the processes employed by them differ from each other. To ensure that you choose the right equipment, it is crucial that you understand the difference between the basic processes of shredding, grinding and granulating.
This article helps you understand these processes so that you can make an informed decision of renting or leasing the right recycling equipment for your business. Let’s take a look:
The process of shredding is normally carried out in a machine which has high torque and low speed. A shredder is designed to shred down large components to random smaller sized manageable components which normally fall in the range of 1” – 2”. An industrial shredder addresses the below mentioned needs:
- Reduces items such as tires to larger chips which are further used for varied purposes such as drain fill, fuel, etc.
- Reduces a large product to small pieces for optimizing space. This proves helpful in haul off applications to a landfill
- Reduces paper. Widely used for shredding confidential documents to unrecognizable pieces with regard to their former condition
- Reduces plastic materials for washing
- Destroys product which has liability issues
- Prepares waste product for another application
These are some of the most common applications of a shredder. You can choose from a wide range of industrial shredders that vary from industrial waste shredders to plastic shredders to tire recycling shredders. They are capable of shredding the smallest of materials to reducing large industrial parts. They ensure maximum material recovery, besides reducing transportation and storage costs.
The terms ‘shredding’ and ‘grinding’ are often used interchangeably. However, the final product from both these processes is quite different. Grinding is basically chipping, shaving or grinding off small pieces from a large piece of material which is to be recycled. The small pieces are ground off until the original piece of material is broken down into smaller sized chips that are consistent in size, usually less than ¼” to ½”. These smaller pieces are particles, chips or fibers which are reused to manufacture new products. Some of the common applications for which grinders are widely used are as follows:
- Reducing bigger pieces of raw materials to smaller chips which can be further mixed with other compounds to make new components
- Grinding bigger rejected parts back to smaller chips which can be recycled into making more parts
- Grinding carpet and other textiles for fiber reclamation
- Reducing organic materials so that they can be reused for bio-fuels production
Some of the best instances comprise grinding a waste piece of material such as plastic or rubber in order to make it reusable for manufacturing tires, bottles or storage bins.
Granulators are most often confused with grinders as both of them essentially perform the same function. One of the best ways to decide if a granulator is more suited for your needs is to determine how small should the final granulated component should be. Granulators are capable of reducing certain materials to a much smaller particle size as compared to grinders.
Granulator differs significantly from a grinder in terms of design. Granulators have an open rotor design which offers more air space around the rotor for product agitation and cooling. This allows better processing of lighter materials which would be quite difficult in a machine with closed rotor design. Grinders mostly have closed rotor designs. These rotors leave little room for processing of the product. Both these designs have their own sets of advantages and hence they both are applicable for specific products.
Granulators are best suited for below mentioned applications:
- Granulators with their open rotor design is more applicable in taking small components which range from ½” to 6” or 8” in sizes which are reduced to flakes of size 5/16” or to powders in some cases
- Granulators are mostly used for post processing of materials which have already been reduced to smaller size
- Granulators are well suited for lightweight materials like plastic bottles which cannot be efficiently processed in machines with closed rotor design
Erich Lawson is very passionate about the environment and is an advocate of effective recycling. He writes on a wide array of topics to inform readers on how modern recycling equipment can be used by industries to reduce monthly wastage bills and increase recycling revenue.