Plastic and silicone tubing manufacturer NewAge Industries, producer of BrewSavor tubing and hoses for craft and home brewing, is now able to recycle the waste from its silicone tubing and braid reinforced hose extrusion processes. The recycled “scrap,” as it is called, finds new life as silicone oil for industrial applications.
“We’re always looking for ways to reduce manufacturing waste,” stated Matt Bauer, Production Manager. “We’ve been recycling our plastic scrap for years, but recycling silicone can be complicated. Producing silicone oil from silicone tubing is a multi-step reclamation process that few companies are doing.”
Tubing scrap is created at the beginning and end of the extrusion process as technicians adjust the equipment for proper tubing dimensions. That tubing, and any other that does not meet the company’s strict quality standards, is collected and stored in bulk containers. The containers are then shipped to ECO USA, a company that specializes in reclaiming silicone oil. Both unreinforced silicone tubing and braid reinforced hose are sent to the recycler.
“The amount of silicone scrap generated adds up to tens of thousands of pounds,” said Bauer. “Between NewAge’s silicone products and those from our AdvantaPure high purity group, we’re making over a dozen different types of silicone tubing and reinforced hose. We also mold silicone, and that generates scrap as well.”
NewAge partners with ECO USA and their silicone recycling plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Following transport to the facility, silicone is ground into small pieces, mixed with catalysts and heated to break down its chemical bonds. Liquids from this stage are filtered, refined, polymerized into silicone oils and filtered again. The final product is silicone oil that is comparable to virgin silicone oil manufactured from silicon dioxide. The oil is used in industrial applications such as lubricants, sealants and automotive dressing.
The team at NewAge takes pride in the company’s many sustainability practices. NewAge’s main facility has been embracing solar power for over nine years, and several other activities – from trash and e-waste recycling, to replacing windows and lighting, to adding an electric vehicle charging station – have been initiated.
Learn more about NewAge Industries’ recycling and green initiatives at http://www.newageindustries.com/green-initiatives.asp