Polyethylene terephthalate coloring systems and methods

  • US 10,751,915 B2
  • Filed: 11/10/2016
  • Issued: 08/25/2020
  • Est. Priority Date: 11/10/2016
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A method of manufacturing a plurality of colors of bulked continuous carpet filament from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) using a single multi-screw extruder, the method comprising:

  • (A) providing a multi-screw extruder;

    (B) using the multi-screw extruder to;

    (i) at least partially melt the PET into a first polymer melt,(ii) split the first polymer melt into a first plurality of individual polymer streams within the multi-screw extruder,(iii) at least partially purify the first plurality of individual polymer streams within the multi-screw extruder, and(iv) combine the first plurality of individual polymer streams into a second polymer melt;

    (C) after the step of using the multi-screw extruder to at least partially melt the PET into the first polymer melt and at least partially purify the first polymer melt, splitting the second polymer melt into a second plurality of individual polymer streams downstream from the multi-screw extruder;

    (D) providing, for each of the second plurality of individual polymer streams, a respective secondary extruder, wherein each secondary extruder is an extruder selected from a group consisting of;

    (a) a single screw extruder;

    (b) a twin screw extruder;

    (c) a multiple screw extruder; and

    (d) a planetary extruder;

    (E) using each respective secondary extruder to add a respective colorant to each of the second plurality of individual polymer streams;

    (F) providing, for each of the second plurality of individual polymer streams, one or more respective static mixers, each of the one or more respective static mixers comprising a substantially cylindrical housing and at least thirty individual static mixing elements disposed within the substantially cylindrical housing;

    (G) after the step of using each respective secondary extruder to add a respective colorant to each of the second plurality of individual polymer streams, using the one or more respective static mixers to substantially thoroughly mix each of the second plurality of individual polymer streams with the respective colorant; and

    (F) after the step of using the one or more respective static mixers to substantially thoroughly mix each of the second plurality of individual polymer streams with the respective colorant, forming each of the second plurality of individual polymer streams into bulked continuous carpet filament.

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