Tag Archives: Foam

How to recycle PU foam?

Recently more and more people are looking for the solutions to recycle PU or TPU foam.

There are two types of PU foam in the market, one is sponge foam, other other is a cured foam or like rigid polyurethane foam sheet which is called TPU foam.

Sponge foam is too much memory. Hot melt is too smelly. Cold compaction won’t work as too much memory. But TPU cured foam which is rigid and brittle in nature. Our polyurethane foam compactor CU250, CU300 and CU360 would be a good machine to densify this kind of material. Using our foam compactor will help you save the transportation and landfill costs.

Polyurethane Foam Compactor

Polyurethane Foam Compactor

Features of Polyurethane Foam Compactor

* Compacted PU foam blocks by ratio of 16:1 to 20:1;

* Achieves the capacity in the range of 200 kg/h to 500 kg/h;

* Equip with a pre-crusher;

* Cooling device so as to avoid polyurethane foam melting;

* Nitrogen filling mouth. Dilution of flammable gas inside, meanwhile dissipation of heat;

* Two exhaust ports. To exhaust flammable gas, which will hinder the PU foam forming;

* Customization for options of different feeding length, width.

Polyurethane Foam Compactor for Compacting Refrigerators Foam

Application of Polyurethane Foam Compactor

Polyurethane foam compactor is mainly used in electric appliances recycling center that has tons of rigid PU foam from dissembled refrigerators. Another source of rigid PU foam is teared down workshops that made of sandwich panels.

Polyurethane Foam Compactor

Polyurethane Foam Compactor

How the Polyurethane Foam Compactor Works

Operator throws PU scraps into the machine hopper. The pre-breaker breaks the foam blocks into smaller flakes. An auger compactor presses the foam into compacted logs. Operator stacks the logs onto pallets.

Features of Polyurethane Foam Compactor

* Compacted PU foam blocks by ratio of 16:1 to 20:1;

* Achieves the capacity in the range of 200 kg/h to 500 kg/h;

* Equip with a pre-crusher;

* Cooling device so as to avoid polyurethane foam melting;

* Nitrogen filling mouth. Dilution of flammable gas inside, meanwhile dissipation of heat;

* Two exhaust ports. To exhaust flammable gas, which will hinder the PU foam forming;

* Customization for options of different feeding length, width.

Technical Specifications of Polyurethane Foam Compactor

Motor   power kw 11+2.2+1.5
Compaction   ratio 20:1
Capacity   kg/h 200-500
Feed   hopper size mm 296*296
Out feed   size mm 300*300
Machine size   mm 1950 (L)*800(W)*1780(H)
Machine weight   kg 800




Curbside Foam Recycling Could Become Byproduct of Highland Park Effort

By Bob Susnjara

While foam recycling at a drop-off site in Highland Park has been deemed a success, the ultimate goal is for such a program to be accomplished with curbside collection, says the head of the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County.

Highland Park officials announced Friday that 4,417 pounds of foam was collected for recycling in one year at the city’s firearms training center on Half Day Road. The effort was sponsored by the solid waste agency and two businesses involved in polystyrene foam food packaging, Dart Container Corp. and Pactiv LLC. Continue reading

Processes to create foams

There are four processes to creat foams:

• Mechanical foaming

–Mix air into the resin while in a liquid state

–Plastisols, vinyl esters, urea formaldehydes, phenolics, polyesters

• Chemical foamingEPS Foams recycling process | Foam Compactor

–Foaming agents or blowing agents

–Chemical reaction that forms a gas/vapor

• Physical foaming

–Gas is forced into a liquid or molten resin

–Pressure is released quickly

–Foam is created

• Syntactic foams

–Physically mix in hollow beads

–Beads are usually glass or plastic

–Wide density capability

How to design an effective foam collection program

Once the volume of foam is determined and a recycler secured, the next
step is to design an effective collection program. At this stage, the goal is to intercept foam recyclables before they go into the waste stream. Keep in mind that the success of any program depends on quality control: the ability to separate high-quality recyclable foam packaging that meets the recycler’s specifications from the trash.

When designing a foam recycling program, pay particular attention to:

• Determining any equipment and storage needs
• Training personnel to separate foam

Equipment and Storage Needs
Collection areas for foam packaging should be separate from other recyclables, kept clean and have easy access for loading. Foam can be stacked, bagged, baled or densified depending on the recycler’s requirements. Increase the effectiveness of the foam recycling program by making it as easy and convenient as possible to recycle. Continue reading

Waste Reduction Options for Foam

There are four main waste reduction options for foam packaging:

1. Reduce – refers to the reduction of natural resources used. By optimising pack design, moulders can reduce foam usage, thus reducing environmental burden and cost.

2. Re-Use – Foam packaging can be re-used as multi-trip packaging, e.g. for the internal transport of partially assembled goods. Another simple re-use of the packaging is to grind it and use it as soil conditioner to improve drainage and aeration. Foam seed and pot-holding trays are often re-used in this way at garden centers.

3. Recycle – is the reprocessing of used foam packaging to make a new material such as hardwood replacement for making garden furniture, slate replacement for roofing tiles and new plastics items such as coat hangers, CD and video cases

4. Recover – Foam has a very high calorific value, higher than that of coal, and can be safely burnt within energy recovery units, or incinerators, without giving off toxic or environmentally damaging fumes.

What is so special about foam?

Foam (also known as EPS) has many useful properties. It can be used as an insulator against heat and the cold. It is good at absorbing shocks and protecting delicate items, for example your head when used as part of a cycle crash helmet.

These and other properties have led packaging technologists to specify EPS as the first choice material for packaging many products.

Foam is:

The outstanding shock absorbency and compression resistance provides excellent protection properties.

The exceptional durability of foam makes it an effective and reliable protective packaging for a wide range of goods. There is no loss of strength in damp conditions, making foam ideal for cool-chain products. The material is moisture resistant, so the highest hygiene requirements are met. Foam is also odourless and non-toxic. Continue reading

The process of Foam waste recycling


The first step of recycling foam waste is to separate the waste foam material into either ‘contaminated’ or clean categories. As ‘contaminated’ foam waste could have paper labels, staples, sticky tape or colour stain on it, or been used to carry fish, plants, fruit or vegetables. Clean foam has no extra labelling or marks and will have been used to package electrical goods or car parts or similar items.

Both clean and contaminated foam packaging can be recycled but the process is different so it is vital that the two are separated.

Collectionfoam compactor helps foam recycling easy.

Recycling companies will collect foam packaging for recycling once a sufficient quantity has been stored up. Some will take the packaging exactly as it is, other will want the packaging compacted.

Compaction foam can be compacted to one-fortieth of its original size for easy, cost-effective transportation. Companies such as Sony or Hitachi have a compacting machine installed on their sites to compact foam packaging before it is collected by the recycler.

The Recycling Process

The recycler feeds the compacted blocks of foam into a granulator which crushs the material into smaller pieces. The material is passed into a blender for thorough mixing with similar granules. This material is fed into the extruder, where it is melted. Colour is added and the extruded material is then moulded into its new shape, such as strips of wood replacement to build garden benches.

The steps to recycling foam

The following steps are recommended to establish a new foam packaging recovery programme.

1. Identify the quality and quantity of foam in your waste stream

The first step in recycling foam is to identify the quality and quantity of foam in the waste stream, as this will influence the ability to market it. Polymer identification symbols are now frequently used to distinguish between different packaging types. The symbol for polystyrene and thus foam is shown in

Figure 1. Another common identifier for EPS is the fact that it floats in water.

“Clean” foam packaging has no extra labelling or marks and is often used to package electrical goods, car parts, or similar items. “Contaminated” foam could have paper labels, staples, or sticky tape on it, or could have been used to carry fish, plants, fruit or vegetables. Both clean and contaminated foam
packaging can be recycled, but the process is different so it is vital that the two are separated.
Contaminated foam packaging needs to go through a special cleaning phase when it is reprocessed, which clean foam packaging does not require.

2. Investigate available markets

Once you have identified the qualities and quantities of foam packaging in your waste stream the next step is to investigate available markets for the material, as this may influence how you proceed with collection. The more foam packaging an individual business can recover the better are its chances of finding a recycler willing to take it. The foam Packaging Group can advise you on potential markets for your material.

3. Establish collection points

Collection of recovered foam packaging should be integrated into the day to day business operation.The first step in determining where collection points should be located is assessing where foam wastes are routinely generated, and whether the waste generated at each point is clean or contaminated.

Next the current rubbish collection points and any existing recycling points must be considered. If a rubbish container is located near a workers station and the collection point for foam is 100 metres away, the likelihood of that worker participating in foam packaging recovery is reduced. Locating recycling points near rubbish bins increases the incentive for people to participate in waste separation and decreases the chance for contamination with unwanted materials.

4. Establish storage and handling protocols
Recycling companies will collect foam packaging for recycling once a sufficient quantity has been stored up. Some will take the packaging exactly as it is, although a majority will want the packaging compacted and baled. Compacting foam allows easy, cost-effective transportation. On-site storage will be needed for recovered foam packaging prior to collection. It is important to keep clean and contaminated material separate and stored in such a way that contamination of clean foam is minimised. If compaction of the material is required a compactor can be purchased and material compacted on site. Alternatively it may be possible to lease a compactor from a local recycler, or see if a local waste management company would be willing to collect and compact the material.

Questions & Answers on EPS Recycling Technology

Q: What is EPS?

A: Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is made from PS resin granules impregnated with a blowing agent (typically pentane). Expanding beads fuse together to form the finished product, which is white, and 95 to 98 percent air and another 2 to 5% is polystyrene which is pure hydrocarbon. Small beads are used for cups and containers, medium beads for shape-molded packaging, and large beads for the expanded loose-fill packaging (peanuts). It insulates, is lightweight, and resists moisture.

Q: How to produce EPS?

A: Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is PS foam that use pentane gas as the blowing agent. During the material production process call “Polymerization” the polystyrene resin granules impregnated with the blowing agent. EPS production process begins in the pre-expansion process where the EPS bead will expand by the heat of steam usually 50 times in volume. Next step is molding process where expanded foam bead will be heated again with steam then they expand further until they fuse together, forming as foam products.

Q: How to manage the EPS foam waste?

A: Waste EPS is generally from construction, packaging and container. It is expensive and difficult to transport due to its volume to weight ratio.
The main methods to treatment used EPS are as follows.

  • Landfill: unable to biodegrade;
  • Burning: generating heat;
  • Compacting and pelletizing: using EPS recycling and pelletizing machines turning waste EPS into PS pellets and manufacturing various products such as coat hanger, flowerpot, video cassettes, etc.
  • Melting and pelletizing:
  • Reground and mix with concrete to produce new building products such as prefabricated concrete blocks to reduce the weight and increase insulation properties;
  • Crush into small particle and mix with soil to improve ventilation in the soil.

Q: How to recycle used EPS?

A: Since EPS foam is made of Polystyrene, which is thermoplastic, so that it will become again a polystyrene plastic when recycled. There are two main options for recycling EPS waste: incineration – yielding energy-recovery, and recycling into other forms such as garden furniture and building insulation. Both require the EPS to be compacted first.
How to Recycling EPS Styrofoam

Q: How to densify EPS?

A: Densification can be carried out with heat (thermal densification), or without heat (cold compaction).
Cold compaction involves crushing and compacting EPS by machine. The compacted materials are extruded into a solid ‘log’. The log is cut to length to fit onto a pellet. It is usual for the compacted EPS to be stored on-site until 5 to 20 metric tones are available, as this makes transport and distribution more cost-effective. The more densely compacted the EPS is, the better, since a higher weight of EPS can be loaded for transport and a higher price per tone may be paid by the recycler. Cold compaction can reduce EPS volume down to one-fortieth of the original.
Thermal densification involves breaking up and melting EPS inside a controlled-temperature chamber. The temperature is controlled to allow the EPS to melt without burning. This collapses the expanded foam cells, enabling it then to be recycled into other products. Higher compaction ratios (up to 95% volume reduction) can be achieved using the melting method that involves heating the expanded polystrene to a very high temperature to compress the product. This type of reycling involved a hot element that needed to remain powered throughout the day, and this proved to be very energy inefficient and posed safety hazards due to the off-gassing of chemicals.On-and-off operation of the machine can be a big waste of energy and time because of cooling and re-heating of the machine.

Q: What is the price for compacted EPS?

A: China is the biggest market for compacted EPS in the world. The CIF Hong Kong price for compacted EPS will ranges from around US$200 to US$500 per ton but is very much dependent on location, cleanliness, level of compaction and current market situation. Contaminants such as seafood waste, oils, excess moisture, ice, malodors and the presence of paper/plastic labels can generate problems for recycling and reduce the prices to be paid.

Q: Do I need an EPS compactor?

A: Businesses with regular quantities of EPS waste should consider the use of compactors to initially reduce the volume of EPS that is thrown away, which in turn could save money by reducing the number of times the bin requires emptying.
For a company with around 20 tons of EPS per year, the payback period for a compacting machine costing around US$5,000 can be as short as one years, if the compacted EPS is sold to a recycling company for about US$200 per ton and the costs of disposal to landfill are saved.
For companies with a large volume of EPS waste, it may be cost-effective to establish an in-house EPS compaction facility, to supply EPS recyclers direct.

Q: Can all kind of waste EPS be recycled?

A: No. If you want to recycle any EPS, please make sure it is clean, with no stickers, grease, dirt, tape, labels, etc. If it’s too difficult to remove a label or contaminant, simply break off the offending piece and recycle the rest. The recycler will chop up the EPS anyway and turn it into new packing material.

Q: What is the market for recycled polystyrene?

A: Almost half of the EPS recycled is remanufactured into EPS packaging. Other applications for EPS recycling include building applications such as siding and deck board, ceiling texture, molding, electronic products, auto products, agricultural products, office supplies, egg cartons, and beanbag filler. Markets for non-foam PS include coat hangers, picture frames, waste baskets, videocassettes, flowerpots, and nursery trays.

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