Austin AI's QXR-G Aids in Glass Recycling - Identifies & Removes Glass Ceramic and Leaded Glass from Recycling Process
Identification and removal of glass ceramic and crystal contaminants from cullet is a growing concern for glass industry. These contaminants cause dangerous inclusions, costly product rejects and cause damage furnaces, extruding and glass blowing equipment. The rate of contamination from these products has grown proportionally with market demand, increasing the risks for glass manufacturers using recyclable materials. Austin AI has developed the QXR-G, an in-line process analyzer, to selectively target these difficult contaminants for removal.
Common sources of glass ceramics & crystal contaminants
Glass manufacturers benefit significantly through the use of recyclable materials, that considerable care and expense is taken on inspection equipment. Optical equipment is used to reject undesirable colored glass, while magnetic and eddy current devices reliably eliminate metal contaminants. Mid-Infrared spectrometers may remove some opaque glass ceramic, but many glass ceramic and crystal materials are transparent and pass undetected.
As markets for glass ceramic glass (Pyrex and Visionware cookware, glass stove tops, and microwave ovens) and crystal materials (crystal, plate glass and automotive glass) have steadily increased over the past 10 years, there has been a respective increase in the amounts of contamination entering the recycling stream. Glass ceramics and crystal contaminants are increasingly becoming a significant manufacturing issue.
Austin AI's QXR-G was recently evaluated and subsequently purchased by one of Germany 's top glass recyclers, for its' ability to detect glass ceramic and crystal contaminants in the cullet processing line. The system was placed before the crusher, where the contaminants are highly concentrated before diluted by subsequent processing occurs. The QXR-G employs an automated spectrometer which scans and qualifies the chemical composition of a thin layer of cullet. When these materials are detected by the instrument, a diverter is activated to redirect the contaminants away from the processing line. When they are no longer present, the stream is allowed to pass untouched, through the remainder of the cullet processing line. The QXR-G's high sorting accuracy and short cycling time lends well to automation, minimizing the amount of quality cullet rejected.
Austin AI's QXR-G, In-Line Cullet Inspection System
The QXR-G is not designed to replace existing separation technologies, but rather another safe guard to enhance cullet quality, to minimize rejected product and wear and tear on furnaces created by glass ceramic and crystal contaminants. Early estimates are a one year or less return on investment.
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