Polymer production

Smooth and efficient heat transfer solutions for polymer production

Sulzer has been providing key components and skid-mounted systems for the production of various kinds of polymers for over two decades.

PLA plant at Synbra with 5 000 t/a capacity, designed and delivered by Sulzer
Main benefits
  • High and controllable heat transfer rates
  • High conversion and reduction of by-products
  • No inert system or solvents required
  • Consistently uniform product quality through excellent control of temperature-time history
  • Suppression of side reactions
  • No dead zones, thus facilitating a fast transition of products and process conditions
  • No rotating parts, thus minimized maintenance costs
  • Low energy consumption, therefore overall low operating costs 
Main applications
  • Polystyrene (PS)
  • Poly lactic acid (PLA)
  • Expandable polystyrene (EPS)
  • Devolatilization
Key components

Key components of our technology packages for polymer production

  • SMX, SMX plus, SMV, CompaX static mixers for
    • Admixing of catalysts and initiators in reaction solutions
    • Admixing of low-viscosity additives in polymer melt
    • Admixing of masterbatch into polymer melt
    • Blending/compounding of two polymers
    • Dispersing of non-soluble components in polymer melt
    • Homogenizing of polymer melt
  • SMR heat exchanger / reactors for
    • Exothermic reaction
      • Loop reaction
      • Plug flow reaction
    • Cooling of polymer melt
  • SMXL heat exchangers for
    • Devolatilization of polymers
    • Heating of polymer solutions

Complete systems are available for the production of

  • EPS (Expandable polystyrene)
  • PLA (Polylactic Acid)
Polymer application range

We offer you components for processing the following polymers

  • Adhesives
  • Cellulosic fibers
  • EPM/EPDM
  • EPS
  • LLDPE, LDPE, HDPE
  • PBT, PB, PBS, PIB
  • PET
  • PLA
  • PMMA
  • Polyamide (PA, PA6)
  • Polycarbonate
  • Polypropylene
  • PP
  • POM
  • PS (GPPS/HIPS)
  • PUR
  • PVAC
  • SAN/ABS
  • Silicon elastomers
  • Silicon oils
  • Silicon polymers
  • Viscose
Reaction technology

Reaction technology

  • Fast transition time due to outstanding plug flow behavior and thus high yield and productivity
  • Easy control of exothermic reactions due to extensive, volume-independent heat transfer surface, even at large scales, resulting in high operational safety, also in critical situations (for example, power outage)
  • Safe operation (no gas phase, thus no explosion risks in the equipment)
  • Low shear rates and thus reduced product degradation (allows, for example, for very high rubber efficiency in impact-strengthened polymers)
  • No maintenance due to absence of moving parts means reduced operating costs
Devolatilization technology

Devolatilization technology

  • Lowest residual monomer content (lower entry barrier for food applications)
  • Simple with a minimum of rotating equipment, and therefore easy to maintain with low operating costs
  • Efficient and thus low energy consumption for reduced operating costs
  • Gentle product handling allowing for highest product quality (lowest oligomer content, optimum transparency, no black spots) to achieve best prices in the market
Mixing

Mixing of additives in polymer melt

  • Most energy efficient (one order of magnitude lower than dynamic systems) saves you operating costs
  • Highly reproducible quality due to well defined mixing patterns minimizes the downtime of your plant
  • No maintenance due to absence of moving parts reduces your running costs
How can we help you?

Talk or write to our experts to find your best solution.