Action Equipment

Equipment Spotlight

Wire Separators

Action Conveyors
Amandus Kahl
Bi-Metal Corp.
Granutech-Saturn Systems
SSI Shredding Systems

To the average motorist, a tire represents a way to move down the road. To a recycler, a tire represents both promise and puzzle, because automobile, truck and other tires contain the elements of a valuable stream of fuel, recyclable crumb rubber and steel wire. That’s the promise part. The puzzle is how to separate wire from chopped, ground or otherwise reduced tires economically and efficiently.

“Tire wire is some of the most difficult material to process and handle,” says Mark Bielicki, president of Bi-Metal Corp. in Ridgefield, Connecticut. “It’s abrasive. The density is lousy. And it’s extremely hard on equipment.” For the last 12 years, Bi-Metal has been selling two Clean Wire System (CWS) machines for separating wire from rubber. The Model 6130 is suitable for handling the output from one second-stage processor. The higher-volume Model 9160 can accommodate materials from two second-stage processors operating simultaneously.

Bielicki’s wire separators use a combination of classification, agitation and magnetic and air separation, all working together, for wire that is less than two percent contamination by weight, Bielicki says. “We make a machine which is incredibly rugged, requires very little maintenance, offers low power consumption and most importantly, the CWS produces consistently clean tire wire, regardless of how the first and second stage processors are running,” he says.

Bi-Metal Corp.

Sales of Bi-Metal’s wire removal equipment have been very good – better than Bi-Metal’s own business selling steel reclaimed from tires, Bielicki says. “The scrap steel market has come down drastically in the past few months,” he says. “It’s simply reflecting world economic conditions.”

In Grand Prairie, Texas, Granutech-Saturn Systems sells its MD-80 Grizzly for wire separation applications. Salesman Greg Wright says the Grizzly’s block-style cutters make it stand out. “What’s good about that is you basically have four edges,” he says. “So after your edge dulls down, you can flip it over and then rotate it and flip it again. After those four edges are worn, you can regrind it two times. So you end up getting 12 uses out of it.”

The Grizzly’s cutter design contributes to a low cost of operation, Wright says. The 300-horsepower, electrically-driven machine produces sub-1-inch tire chunks from which the wire has been stripped. After the stream is fed onto a vibratory screen, overhead magnets remove the wire from the rubber chunks. The remaining chunks are suitable for further processing into ground rubber, or transformed as-is into landscape mulch or fuel.

Amandus Kahl of Alpharetta, Georgia, takes a much different approach to removing wire from tires with its Model 60-1250 flat-die pelleting presses. “On ours, the grinding takes place on a stationary die plate which would have 16 or 18, 3/4-inch or 5/8-inch diameter holes in it,” explains salesman Robert Trimbee. “We have a roller head that rotates on this stationary die plate. That’s how we get our separation.”

Amandus Kahl’s design minimizes operating costs, Trimbee says. “The recyclers in the steel business want clean steel,” he adds. “And this will give a clean steel, with good rubber separation off the steel.” The 400-horsepower machines are designed to be fed 2- to 3-inch chips from primary shredders.

Some of Amandus Kahl’s customers are taking all of their scrap tires and processing them through the Model 60-1250 to recover steel. Business, he says, is good. “I think its commodity prices and the general environment in the country that everybody’s trying to get more into recycling,” he says. “And they’re closing landfills and not allowing tires to go into landfills.”

In Sarasota, Florida, Columbus McKinnon Corporation has two models of its CM Liberator - the 2R and the 4R – that are sold into tire recycling applications. “The 2R is two and four tons per hour input, and the other is between four and nine tons per hour, depending on the screen size,” says national sales manager Richard Colyar.

Liberators are placed downstream from primary shredders and employ a special knife swing designed primarily for pulling wire out of tires. “It doesn’t cut,” Colyar says. “It works similar to a hammer mill in its knife action. It’s ripping, tearing and extracting the steel from the rubber rather than trying to cut it. If you cut it, you’re still going to have pieces of rubber with the steel inside them. A cutting technology is not what you want at this stage.”

Depending on the effectiveness of magnets or other equipment used on downstream of the machine, Liberators can produce steel wire with less than five percent contamination, Colyar says. “Our steel is a longer piece, which is more conducive to baling or densifying,” he adds.

Most of Columbus McKinnon’s sales are directly into the tire recycling industry, including sales to Japan, Spain, Korea and England as well as the United States. “Business is good, nice and steady,” Colyar says. “The regulations that would affect us are the banning of whole tires in landfills or the banning of shred in landfills. Where markets are being promoted, that’s where we have the most success.”

Granutech-Saturn Systems

Wright also reports sales all over the world, thanks in part to currency exchange rates that help United States exporters. “Our export business has really gotten good with the weak dollar,” he says. “That puts our stuff on sale to anyone outside the United States. And additionally, any competitors coming from outside the United States to sell, their stuff is more expensive.”

“As far as tire recycling, it’s always good,” Wright continues. “That’s a market that seems to be growing. We get more inquiries from people wanting to get into tire processing than anything else.”