Purge Compounds: Chemical vs. Mechanical

Deciding on what type of commercial purge compound to use is an important task for plastic processing companies; and companies have a choice of 2 different types of purge compounds, chemical and mechanical. Choosing the correct type of purge compound could potentially save a company a substantial amount of money by reducing downtime, scrap, and the amount of commercial purge required.

A mechanical purge compound works by scrubbing the machine clean by means of an abrasive material. Conversely, a chemical purge compound cleans the machine by chemically breaking the bonds of the polymers and pigment that are to be removed from the machine. Benefits of using a chemical purge compound over a mechanical purge compound are reduced amount of purge needed (typically 2- 3 times less), faster change-overs and reduced scrap. Additionally, another advantage of some chemical purges, such as Ultra Purge, is the ability to be 100% recycled.

Therefore, plastic processing companies should establish a testing protocol when deciding on the right purge compound to use that will compare all costs (downtime, scrap, amount of purge require) associated with purging their machine. For this reason, a statistical analysis will allow for companies to decide on the best purge compound, ultimately increasing the company’s profitability.