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PRIMUS Project > Identification and characterization of plastics

Identification and characterization of plastics



Lesson Summary

Identification and characterization of plastics are crucial in polymer science, achieved through techniques like spectroscopy and thermal analysis. These practices facilitate material selection, quality control, and innovation in industries such as packaging and automotive by optimizing polymer formulations.

The process of converting recycled plastics into value-added products entails various recycled polymer types, their origins, and considerations like mechanical recycling, recyclable product designs, and the effects of additives on plastic degradation.

Key points from the lesson include:

  1. Understanding the value of plastics products, upcycling, design for recycling, and the quality of post-consumer waste feedstocks are crucial in the recycling process.
  2. Mechanical recycling involves steps like shredding, separation, washing, and extrusion, with screw extruders being essential for melting and homogenizing viscous melts during recycling.
  3. Differences between twin-screw extruders (TSE) and single-screw extruders (SSE) are highlighted, with TSEs being better mixers but operating at lower pressures than SSEs.
  4. TSEs commonly handle venting/devolatilization and pellet-making, running at higher screw speeds.
  5. The use of corotating twin-screw extruders for plastics reprocessing, advanced mechanical recycling setups, decontamination processes, and waste plastic upgrading are discussed.

The conclusion underlines the importance of upcycling plastics for higher value and the utilization of twin-screw extrusion technology for effective recycling processes.

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