French processor producing WPC decking profiles on a direct extrusion line from KraussMaffei Berstorff
"Oceplast, a long-standing customer of KraussMaffei Berstorff and founder of the OCEWOOD trademark that is renowned in France and Europe, chose our WPC concept since the twin-screw extruders have very high wear resistance", said Michael Finkenzeller, Product Manager for WPC extrusion at KraussMaffei Berstorff. "The screws have tungsten carbide armor plating while the barrels are lined with a bi-metal bushing. Wear resistance is very important, especially in WPC processing, since this is the only way to attain the machine service lives demanded by processors and minimize standstill phases and maintenance costs", emphasized Finkenzeller. The core component of the line is the KMD 75-32/WPC twin-screw extruder with a maximum output of up to 200 kg/h. Other line components, for example the calibration table, the haul-off/saw combination and the tilting table, are designed specially according to the customer's requirements. The line is therefore extremely compact and is designed for processing extra wide profiles.
The special feature of the line is the single-step process which permits direct metering of the two components, i.e. wood and PVC. A two-component gravimetric system transports wood flour and PVC dryblend into a dynamic mixer which feeds the perfectly homogenized material mixture directly into the extruder. The complex compounding process using a heating-cooling mixer is therefore not required; the processor saves valuable production space and energy since the wood flour is already pre-dried.
Oceplast, which was founded in 2002, quickly established itself as an innovative company focusing on PVC profile production for different applications such as roller shutter systems, fence profile strips, floor skirting boards, thermally insulated profiles and coextruded PVC-PMMA profiles. Oceplast has now been involved for some years in processing wood fiber-reinforced plastics, for example for terrace decking profiles or fence profile strips. The company is expecting demand to increase since forecasts are predicting annual growth of up to 20% in the requirements for natural fiber-reinforced plastics in Europe on account of the general efforts towards conserving resources.