What is a Granulator

It only takes a Google search on the internet to find out that the word “Granulator” is one of the most widely used terms in the size reduction industry and perhaps, one of the most misused terms.  In my most recent search for the word “granulator”, I was not surprised to find that only a few of the results were from companies that actually offer true granulators.  The vast majority of the results were from companies who simply use the word to attract people to their websites.  Once you click on their link, you quickly find out that what they are calling a granulator is in reality something else; often a shredder, usually single shaft in nature or a grinder, both of which produce significantly different outputs than that of a granulator. Caution!! Selecting one of those machines to handle what is truly a granulating process can end up being a frustrating endeavor and possibly a costly mistake.

Granulator Background

With that in mind, to understand what a true granulator (or granulating process) is, we need to take into account the definition of the word.  Originally, to granulate something was to turn a larger component into a “grain”.  Thus the name Granulator was given to any equipment that could take a larger component and reduce it to a grain sized output; perhaps on the level of corn meal or below.  Sadly for those who have size reduction needs, the fact that the word has been attached to equipment other than granulators has greatly confused its usage and likely caused many to purchase equipment that simply is not capable of optimal production for a granulation process. Granted, the ability of any machine to produce a specific output is based on the material being reduced, it remains that granulators have a very specific purpose and place that no other machine can compete with.

So, how do we define a Granulator in today’s size reduction market?

Granulators Defined

Simply put, a Granulator is a high speed, normally open rotor knife mill designed to take larger components of feed stock (such as plastics, bottles, organics, etc…) and reduce them to a particle size of approximately 40 mesh to 1/8” chip. And while many granulators are used for processing of material outputs of greater than 1/8”, it still remains that their primary place is in the reduction to the finer grains.

While that may be an overly simplistic definition, it does comprise the most common usage of equipment.  And it should also be noted that other styles do exist, such as closed rotor designs, higher production models and really, a multitude of similarly designed rotors, however; even with these options which are often to facilitate differing feed stocks – the output of a granulator still remains close to the same sizing.

Make the Right Choice

Confused about your application?  At Jordan Reduction Solutions, we manufacture Granulators, Shredders and Grinders – and the output of each differs substantially.  Therefore, if you’re not certain of exactly what your equipment needs are, contact our engineers and they can quickly assess your needs and help you determine if a granulator is right for you.