Plastic Chiller: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

I know you’re looking for high-quality plastic chiller.

Or, you’d like to learn more about plastic chiller systems.

Whichever the case, this guide has all information you’re looking for about plastic chilling systems – from definition, coolant type, maintenance process, parts, to working principle among other vital aspects.

Keep reading to learn more

What is Plastic Chiller?

This is a machine that uses principles of refrigeration to transfer heat by removing it from the process load out onto the environment.

Plastic chillers are used in instances where manufacturers require temperatures lower than straightforward systems e.g., cooling towers can provide.

The plastic chillers serves two main functions:

  • Releasing heat to the environment
  • Lowering temperatures of plastic molds and products.

What is the Medial Life Cycle of Plastic Chiller?

Considering the average run conditions and adherence to required maintenance strategies, plastic chillers’ life cycle differs very much.

Small capacity (scroll) plastic chillers can last for as long as ten years.

While larger ones(screw), if effectively managed, can endure and still perform efficiently for 15 to 20 years.

 Plastic chiller

Plastic chiller

Water-cooled plastic chillers, on the other hand, last more than twenty-five years.

With that said, the only right answer is that the service life for a plastic chiller heavily depends on the type of coolant it uses, the degree of maintenance, and the unit’s running hours.

Some plastic chillers are more complex and have more moving parts, ergo break easily.

Which Types of Plastic Chillers are there?

Plastic chillers are categorized on a scale of cooling energy.

There are three main types of plastic chillers, i.e., air, evaporative condensed plastic chillers, and water-cooled plastic chillers.

There are four subcategories in each of the said types, i.e., screw-driven, centrifugal, reciprocating, and absorption plastic chillers.

The first three are mechanical plastic chillers powered by gas turbines, steam, or electric motors.

The fourth is powered by a heat source e.g., steam, and does not use any moving parts.

What are the Safety Control Features of Plastic Chillers?

Plastic chiller system

Plastic chiller system

Typically, a plastic chiller has condensers, compressors, and an evaporator.

Each variation of plastic chillers requires its own setting, which corresponds to the load for maximum efficiency.

Furthermore, each has safety controls specifically designed to protect operators from harm.

It also protects the cooling system from potential damage caused by low coolant temperature, e.g., blocked circulation that could diminish efficiency.

These measures include capacity controls, which are responsible for maintaining temperatures.

Operators can also set the system to shut down to avoid severe machine damage that could affect the safety of those around.

Safe operational training comes in handy in equipping workers with essential knowledge on how the plastic chillers work and involves safe handling of equipment.

A plastic chiller is also equipped with an abnormal alarm system and an indicator for warning.

The refrigeration circuit can be cut off automatically if there is an error alarm to keep the plastic chiller safe and reliable.

Additionally, there are antifreeze protection measures, exhaust overheats protection, and phase sequence protection, among others, as safety devices.

How are Plastic Chillers used in Plastic Processing Factory?

The chilling system from a plastic chiller can be used to cool down plastic molds and equipment used to create plastic products.

These may include hydraulics of the molding machine, gearbox, and barrel of the extruder.

Plastic extrusion process

Plastic extrusion process

 Plastic extrusion machine

Plastic extrusion machine

The plastic chiller is applied in the injection moulding machine; once the plastic has been melted, it gets injected into the abrasives.

Where it gets condensed, the mould is opened to eject the plastic product.

In this process of contact production, the mould needs to be cooled to shorten the plastic setting time and provide the dimensional accuracy and moulding quality of the product.

The plastic chiller is applicable in the blow molding process.

It is a process mainly used in producing various mineral water bottles and beverage bottles.

The blow molding process entails the use of dry and clean compressed air.

By using the cooled water provided by the plastic chiller as the cold source, the water in the compressed air can be removed.

Thermoforming is a manufacturing technique involving the heating of plastic to a pliable forming temperature, which is then shaped into a desired shape or mold.

Finally, it is trimmed to form a product that can be used.

The ovens operate at extremely high temperatures to make the plastic sheets stretchy enough to be stretched onto a mold.

Plastic chillers are used to cool down these molds and are therefore crucial to the process.

Which Factors Determine the Cost of Plastic Chiller?

Plastic chiller

 Plastic chiller

·  Design of Plastic Chiller

The design of the plastic chiller plays a significant role in its pricing.

Some plastic sealer designs are built to use higher rates of fluid and others to support specific cooling fluids.

· Material of Plastic Chiller

Stainless steel components being used in a plastic sealer to avoid corrosion can also make it more costly.

Control panel features. Plastic chillers with temperature, pressure, and fault indicators augmented into their control panels tend to be more costly.

Other factors that determine the cost of a plastic sealer the evaporator capacity, piping material, pumping specifications, and ambient temperature.

How do Plastic Chillers with Scroll Compressors compare to Plastic Chillers with Screw Compressors?

Screw compressors are commonly used for air and water-cooled plastic chillers.

In an air-cooled variation, the compressor is usually at the bottom of the plastic chiller machine.

In the water-cooled variation, it is generally at the top of the device.

Once the refrigerant is taken off from the evaporator, it is passed through into the compressor, where there are two connected screws.

As the refrigerant passes through the screws, the screws rotate.

Thereby pushing the refrigerant socket deeper into the compressor, eventually forcing it out into an expansion valve.

There, the refrigerant is expelled at high pressure and temperature.

The cycle is repeated until the desired outcome is achieved.

Screw chiller system

Screw chiller system

Scroll compressed plastic chillers are mostly air-cooled.

Often, a single compressor cannot handle the cooling load, so many are clustered to work together.

The refrigerant makes its way through the bottom and is tuned to the compressor discs.

One of which is in constant rotating motion while the other is static.

The single disc’s rotating action compresses the refrigerant into a smaller space.

As a result causing it to spiral along as it forces its way out through the top and into the expansion valve.

This process is done repeatedly until the desired outcome is achieved.

Which Coolants do Plastic Chillers use?

The type of coolant used heavily depends on cost considerations and process needs.

The most applicable coolants used are water or a mixture of water and another substance with suitable heat-conducting properties, preferably glycol.

Both glycol and water-cooled plastic chillers are used to dissipate heat produced during production efficiently.

The critical distinction between both coolants lies in their freezing points and heat conduction properties.

Operators must therefore consider ambient temperatures for the operating environment before choosing a plastic chiller.

Glycol cooled chillers have refrigeration components and tubing that contain glycol-water mixture as a coolant.

Glycol chiller

Glycol chiller

The chilled fluid is channeled through the piping associated with a thermal exchanger from the refrigeration unit.

The process is then repeated over and over. Glycol is mixed with water at a ratio of 6:4.

Water coolant plastic chillers work based on heat transmission between various states of matter, solid and fluid.

The cooling systems work by either vapour-compression or heat absorption.

Water-cooled plastic chiller components are a refrigeration unit and a piping unit that circulates the chilled coolant.

Glycol’s freezing point is lower than water and is, therefore, best suited to low-temperature environments.

Water has a better ability to conduct and retain heat from an associated process.

But could freeze in low temperatures, ergo obstructing circulation and diminishing efficiency.

Glycol is suited to low-temperature applications and water to standard temperature applications that require high conduction and retention of heat.

What are the Components of Plastic Chiller?

Parts of air cooled chiller

Parts of an air-cooled chiller

Plastic chillers work by removing heat from processes so that the equipment and moulds stay cool.

A condenser, expansion valve, evaporator and compressors are the four main components found in water-cooled and air-cooled plastic chillers.

These four components work together to achieve effective process cooling.

Compressor: This is the main component of the plastic chiller and is responsible for moving the refrigerant around the system by creating a difference in pressure.

The different types of compressors are: reciprocating, centrifugal, scroll and screw types.

Every type has its advantages and disadvantages.

In the plastic architecture, the compressor is usually found between the condenser and the evaporator components.

It is driven by an electrical motor and is partially insulated depending on whether it is positioned internally or externally.

Earmuffs and other hearing protection equipment are recommended for operators because compressors can be very loud.

Condenser: This component is found between the compressor and the expansion valve.

Its main function is to cool down the refrigerant as it makes it’s way from the evaporator.

The common types of condensers are, water-cooler condensers and air-cooled condensers.

Expansion valve: The main role of this component is to reduce the pressure of the refrigerant and increasing its volume by expanding it.

Thus, making it easier for the refrigerant to extract heat form the evaporator.

The most common expansion valve types are electrical, thermal, orifice, and pilot expansion valve.

This component is usually positioned between the evaporator and condenser.

Evaporator: This component is positioned between the compressor and expansion valve.

It collects excess heat and there are three common variations I.e., grazed plate, tube and coil evaporates.

How does Air-cooled Plastic Chiller Work?

Air-cooled chillers work by the principle of heat absorption.

The heat absorbed is produced from processed water.

As soon as the air handler system’s water temperature cools down, it gets tubed back into the plastic chiller.

The liquid coolant (water or water-glycol mixture) evaporates, thereby producing low-pressure gas, which is later compressed into a high-pressure gas.

This gas is then directed to the air-cooled condensers, where the heat gets extracted.

Once the air exits the condenser, the coolant changes form once more to become a high-pressure liquid.

It travels through the expansion valve into the evaporator, during which it changes into a low pressured liquid.

This liquid is then transferred back into the evaporator because plastic chillers operate on recurring cycles.

The process occurs repeatedly. Auxiliary information are as follows:

Advantages of Air-cooled Plastic Chillers are:

  • They are cheap to maintain compared to water-cooled plastic chillers.
  • The extracted heat can be put used in other methods e.g., air conditioning.

Disadvantages of Air Cooled Plastic Chiller are:

  • Air-cooled plastic chillers can be very noisy.
  • They also tend to last way shorter than water-cooled plastic chillers do.

How does a Water-cooled Plastic Chiller Work?

A water-cooled plastic chiller operates based on the absorption of vapor and to what level the steam gets compressed.

Its primary function is to provide an uninterrupted flow of coolant fluid (water) to the cold part of a plastic process water system at controlled temperature.

Usually optimizes by specialists at 10° Celsius.

From there onwards, the coolant gets tubed through the entire process as it extracts heat from where it is not required.

It then flows back into the system and goes through the process repeatedly.

The plastic chiller’s compression mechanisms also have a network connected to a water system through the evaporator.

Coolant liquid circulates through the plastic chiller components I.e., evaporator, condenser, and compressor, where thermodynamic activities occur.

At the evaporator, the thermodynamic activity that takes place is heat exchange.

As this process occurs, the coolant evaporates, thus changing into vapor from low-pressure liquid.

The coolant, now in liquid form, is removed from the evaporator and its pressure is increased thereby increasing its temperatures.

The advantage of water cooled chillers is that they operate quietly compared to air-cooled plastic chillers.

A disadvantage is that they are more expensive because they require additional components e.g., water towers and pumps.

How does Air-cooled Plastic Chiller compare to Water-cooled Plastic Chiller?

An air-cooled plastic chiller works on the principles of heat absorption from process water and then having it transferred to free air.

They generally need half as much maintenance operations as water-cooled chillers do and often, consume at least 10% more electricity.

Water-cooled chillers, on the other hand, transfer the absorbed heat from the water process to other sources e.g., cooling towers.

Additionally, water-cooled chillers use water treatment condensers to prevent build up of minerals; a condition that may diminish efficiency of the plastic chiller.

Water-cooled chillers are commonly installed indoors where they cannot be affected by environmental elements.

For this reason, they tend to last longer than air-cooled chillers; additionally, they are the better option for large-scale processes.

They are more costly on the downside because they require extra installation and maintenance costs compared to the air-cooled plastic chillers.

The air-cooled plastic chillers have relatively reduced operation space needs and are also simple.

Thereby, producing several advantages over the water-cooled variation.

Water-cooled plastic chillers rely on the circulation of condenser water from the cooling tower to condense the refrigerant.

On the other hand, air-cooled plastic chillers used fans to draw in air to condense the refrigerant.

The ambient air is often passed over a coil before the process begins.

Air-cooled plastic chillers are less energy-efficient than water-cooled plastic chillers.

The refrigerant condensing temperature in an air-cooled plastic chiller depends on the ambient dry-bulb temperature.

In contrast, a water-cooled plastic chiller depends on the condenser water temperature, which depends on the wet bulb’s ambient temperature.

In summary, water-cooled plastic chiller advantages include longer equipment life and energy efficiency.

Air-cooled plastic chillers are low costs of installation and maintenance and exemplary performance in low temperatures.

What are the Primary Considerations when Choosing Plastic Chiller?

You should consider the following when installing plastic chillers:

Plasticchiller system

 Plastic chiller system

· Suitability of the Environment to the Operation of the Plastic Chiller.

For plastic chillers transfer it out onto the environment.

Remember, plastic chillers may get damaged when installed in the wrong area.

For example, air-cooled plastic sealers cannot work efficiently when installed in poorly ventilated spaces and may overheat, leading to damage.

If the intended operation’s area has an ambient temperature above 35 degrees Celsius, then perhaps water-cooled plastic chillers should be considered.

· Required Output of the Process

The plastic chiller’s size needs to correspond to its load.

That is, it has to process the amount of load required to produce the desired output.

There are rules of thumb to every application in the plastic process.

For instance, in the injection moulding process, to cool down a load of pounds every hour, the right plastic chiller would be a 4ton size plastic chiller.

· Type of Compressor

Plastic chillers with scroll compressors are usually more durable because they do not have many moving parts.

They also have brazed plate evaporators, thus allowing for efficient use of available floor space.

Other features to consider when choosing a plastic chiller are ease of water contamination and control panel design.

Which Industries use Plastic Chillers?

Plastic chillers are generally used in the plastic production industry to cool down plastic products that have gone through injection moulding, extrusion, or blow moulding processes.

Additionally, plastic chillers can be used to cool down equipment and machinery used to create plastic molds.

The use of plastic chillers ensures efficient operation and increased lifespan.

Which Types of Refrigeration are Common in Plastic Chillers?

Some of the most common refrigeration circuits include:

Single-circuit refrigeration: A single circuit plastic chiller has two or more cooling stages.

Single-circuit system may involve a variable scroll compressor or clustered compressors piped together, therefore creating two or more sets to improve efficiency.

Dual-circuit refrigeration: A coil is used, and the system operates in first-hand cooling, only half of the dual circuit coil has refrigerant flowing through it.

This leaves the refrigerant with a little surface area for heat transfer and allows the coil to get much colder, thus improving the process’s efficiency.

There are likely two compressors independent of each other that have their separate circuits in such a setting.

An accruing benefit that comes out of having a dual-circuit system is that if one compressor breaks down or cannot contain the required load.

The second circuit will not be affected by the first and can continue to handle half of the load.

On the other hand, the disadvantage with a dual-circuit system is the additional cost and workforce required to install twice as much apparatus.

Because of this, single-circuit systems are preferred by companies.

Are plastic Chillers Customizable?

Yes, Plastic chillers are customizable.

Plastic chillers can be designed to the purchaser’s requirements.

That is, with the use of standard components as framework for selection and personalization of said plastic chiller for its intended application.

Optional features can be added or removed to:

  • Provide custom control systems and configurations.
  • Provide additional safety controls.
  • Provide a different refrigeration system to smoothen process workflow e.g., triple circuit refrigeration system over the common single circuit.
  • Accommodate more/less components e.g., different capacity tanks and compressors.

At what Temperatures do Plastic Chillers Operate?

The highest ambient temperature for operation is 57° Celsius while the lowest is at -20° Celsius.

How much Power do Plastic Chillers Use?

The amount of power required for a plastic chiller’s operation generally depends on the load size of plastics being cooled.

The power is measured in terms of ‘Tons,’

Which in this case is not in reference to weight but instead refrigeration power.

The standard power quantity required for the plastic cooling process is usually 1 Ton of cooling power for 12000 BTUs per hour.

How Frequently should you Maintain Plastic Chillers?

A lot of heat is produced from the applications of plastic chillers in plastic product production.

If not maintained routinely, sensitive components of the plastic chiller may become damaged and less operational thereby affecting the quality of molds.

For water-cooler plastic chillers, operators should regularly inspect water tubes, including inlets and outlets.

Check for faulty and dirty filters and check for variations in operating temperatures.

Keeping routine records of fluid levels in the plastic chiller can also be helpful in noticing potential hiccups in the system.

For air-cooled plastic chillers, operators should regularly inspect the condenser fans and cooling coils for signs of fin distortion.

Besides, you should check for poor lubrication and lubrication at least once every fortnight.

Each system is different, but costs involve continuous monitoring of the efficiency data and performance.

This will reduce regular maintenance costs to a minimum.

The overheads are reasonably low in contrast to conventional chillers.

What are the Common Plastic Chiller Problems?

Some of the most common problems include:

  • The plastic chiller may not power up.
  • There may be insufficient pumping or no pumping at all.
  • Insufficient cooling or no cooling at all.

What are the Potential Causes of Plastic Chiller Failure?

Improper line voltage, blown fuse/circuit breakers or turned off powers switches may be the main reason behind the plastic chiller’s failure to power up.

Failure due to no pumping at all or insufficient pumping.

This could be due to closed process valve, pump failure, use of unstable coolant fluids for temperature requirements, or a fluctuation in voltage.

Failure of the plastic chiller due to a problem of no cooling or little cooling.

Normally, this problem could be due to declined heat transfer properties of coolant, increased ambient temperature, an iced-up evaporator, or a clogged condenser.

Initial steps that can be taken to solve or to prevent these problems are as follows:

Ensuring that the plastic chiller is running by turning the power switch on or checking the circuit breakers for damage.

Checking the coolant temperatures to ensure that the evaporator is not iced.

Or the heat transfer properties of the coolant fluid are not deteriorated.

Ensuring that the flow of the coolant fluid is not prevented by a blocked valve, or that there is no restriction in the process line.

Checking environmental and operation conditions.

The plastic chiller may experience failure due to high loads or close proximity to other heat generating equipment besides the process machinery.

Can you Install Plastic Chillers Indoors?

There are various types of plastic chillers.

Some can be installed inside while some can not.

One answer does not fit all when it comes to locations for installing plastic chillers.

Each application entails different requisites of operation based on the process being cooled or the manufacturer’s recommendations.

A plastic chiller’s heat is expelled by being blown out.

Given this fact, it is best to use plastic chillers outdoors or in a place where the environment is not likely to be affected negatively by excessive heat.

To decide whether to get an indoor ready plastic chiller, one should answer a few questions:

How will the excess heat be expelled?

Are there special process needs?

Once these are answered, one will be able to know whether to get an indoor plastic chiller or not.

Can you use Plastic Chillers for other Industrial Applications?

Yes. A plastic chiller can be used in the laser industry; where it is used to cool down the lasers and power supplies used in the laser cutting industry.

Rubber industry, where it is used to cool the rubber mill and mixers.

The printing industry where it is used to cool down the paper after it comes out of the ink drying process.

What are the Advantages of Plastic Chillers to the Plastic Process?

 Air colled chiller

Air cooled chiller

The plastic chillers eliminate melting lines and marks on the plastic product surface, ergo improved ergonomics.

The cooling water from the plastic chiller solves the problem of plastic product shrinkage.

There is no need to have your product spray painted for subsequent processing when using a plastic chiller.

This improves yield.

The plastic chiller accelerates the finalization of the product, thus improving overall production efficiency.

At Top Chiller, we offer the most efficient and energy saving plastic chillers.

Contact us today for all you custom plastic chillers.

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