This paper reports on the successful application of a large vertical venturi separator for the removal of tangled steel and rayon fibres from crumbed rubber product as part of a tyre recycling process. This represents an advance over the other separation units encountered during this project in cleaning efficiency and scalability. The venturi separator was able to unwind the synthetic fibres from the steel fibre by keeping the agglomerate in a suspended state within the throat of the venturi. A chaotic particle motion was observed at the throat which aided in teasing the synthetic away from the steel fibre. Overall the venturi separator offered far superior cleaning ability, suitable throughput rates and simple construction/implementation. The concept could easily be applied to other industries where an aerodynamic classifier offering potentially unlimited particle retention times may be beneficial.
Chemical Engineering and Processing Vol. 44, no. 2, p. 287-291