ENG08028 2018 Polymer Recycling
The aim of this module is to intorduce the learner to the recycling laws and legislation relevant to the plastics industries. The learner will gain an overview of polymers which can be currently recycled and the level of activity both nationally and internationally. Collection and sorting techniques for recycling of plastics will also be presented and will aim to equip the learner with the knowledge in order to select the most appropriate techniqes for different types of plastic materials. Finally additive properties for the enhancement of polymer recycling and reuse markets will be presented with case studies.
On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;
Compare polymer recycling costs and carbon foot print withe the use of legislation
Analyse and compare the environmental impact of different materials in product design
Select the most appropriate sorting techniques for a recycling process
Compare and select the most appropriate recycling process
Design plastic part for recycling using knowledge of additive and recycling process
Teaching and Learning Strategies
The lectures will be delivered online part time. The module will demonstrate the appliction of the skills and knowedge in this area by presenting several case studies throughout. The foucs will be on the application of the skills and knowledge gained to various recycling scenarios of plastic parts and to use this knowledge to refine plastic part designs to improve recycling and reuse of plastic parts.
Module Assessment Strategies
This will be an terminal examination to assess the key learning outcomes. However the substantial assessment will be on a project and practical where the student will have to demonstrate their application of the knowedge and skills gained.
Repeat Exams will be made available and the project report can be resubmitted. However if the practical sessions are missed they will have to be resit the following year.
Session 1 - Recycling Laws and legislation relevant to the plastics industries users and converters, included: EU legislation relevant to specific industries, eg, WEEE (recycling electrical components, Automotive sector, Food packaging, etc. The case to recycle –vs- bio-degradation, pro’s and cons’s. Comparison of polymer recycling costs / carbon foot print compared to recycling steels, wood, glass, ceramics, etc. Influence of economic factors effecting polymer recycling, eg, raw polymer costs, oil pricing, market saturation, restrictive legislation (eg, FDA requirements, etc).
Session 2 - Overview of polymers which are currently recycled, Irish scrap tonnages and identification of their waste streams. Included: Olefines PP, HDPE /paper blended derivatives, LDPE films, etc - nature /properties, raw material costs, typical use applications and environmental issues.
Session 3 – Overview of polymers Cont’d. Included: Styrenics PS, HIPS, SAN, ABS, Acrylics, Polycarbonates, PET, APET, PVC and mixed coloured / ‘jazz’ polymers, thermoset polymers, eg, rubber car tyres. Nature of materials, properties, raw material costs, typical use applications and environmental issues.
Session 4 – Collection, washing and Sorting techniques. Included: Waste polymer collection methods, inc, identification of typical recycling collection methods, home separation, council collection, distribution, washing techniques, etc. Sorting techniques, inc, Macrosorting – Near IR spectroscopy, inc, explanation of how process works, interpolation of typical spectra.
Session 5 - Sorting techniques Cont’d - X-Ray sorting, Laser aided identification, Marker systems, Sink / Float systems, Selective Dissolution, included: explanation of how each process works.
Session 6 - Recycling methods and processes, Examples inc: Typical Bottle recycling (PET), film recycling (LDPE) and REX (reaction extrusion of Acrylic/Polycarbonate). Inc: explanation of the complete process in each case from collection, sorting, washing, processing, testing - back to reconstituted granules.
Session 7 – Re-constituted material characterisation. Inc: test methods undertaken, spectroscopic appraisal, tensile testing, impact testing, viscosity, MFR and HDT test methods explained.
Session 8 - Additive /property enhancement of recycled polymers, eg, co-polymers, blends, thermal stabiliser, UV stabiliser, impact modifiers, fillers, blowing agents, colourants and reinforcing systems explained.
Session 9 - End use markets for recycled polymer. Overview, examples include Olefine ‘polywood’ products, tyre rubber safety flooring for play grounds, PET bottles to fibres for clothing, recycled poly-fibres for insulation and under-lay, poly fibre reinforcements for concrete, bottle derived PET roofing tiles, Blended medical grade APET for extruded waste pipes, PE / EVA poly-foam shoe soles, Use of recycled polymer in cars and new electrical goods etc. Explanation of how the recycled polymer is used in each case.
Session 10 - Design for Recycling – to facilitate ease of recycling. Currently if a product is made from a number of different polymer materials or contains specific additives, it cannot be recycled and has to go to landfill. If however the designer has a good understanding of material compatibility at the design stage, this will ensure that this does not happen and that the product can be recycled when it comes to its end of life. Material compatiblizer technology explained, examples of using Nylon and PP together with the use of chemical compatiblizers. Explanation of polymer families which are miscible, examples inc: HDPE / PET, HDPE / APET, PMMA / ABS, PC / ABS, etc.
Coursework & Assessment Breakdown
|Title||Type||Form||Percent||Week||Learning Outcomes Assessed|
|1||Design for Recycling||Project||Assignment||40 %||Week 9||1,2,5|
|2||Recycling Practical||Practical||Practical Evaluation||20 %||Week 6||2,3,4|
End of Semester / Year Assessment
|Title||Type||Form||Percent||Week||Learning Outcomes Assessed|
|1||Polymer Recycling||Final Exam||Closed Book Exam||40 %||End of Semester||1,2,3,4,5|
Full Time Mode Workload
|Laboratory Practical||Science Laboratory||Practicals||8||Once Per Semester||0.53|
Online Learning Mode Workload
|Lecture||Not Specified||Online Lecture||1||Weekly||1.00|
Required & Recommended Book List
2016-11-09 Recycling of Polymers: Methods, Characterization and Applications Wiley VCH
ISBN 3527338489 ISBN-13 9783527338481
2002-08-29 Handbook of Plastics Recycling Smithers Rapra Technology
ISBN 1859573258 ISBN-13 9781859573259
Over the past 20 years recycling of plastics has increased dramatically. This is important not only from the environmental point of view (less landfill space is needed) but also from the economic point of view because recycling allows energy and materials to be reused. This book discusses some of the state-of-the-art techniques of recycling post-consumer plastic materials and focuses on mechanical recycling, chemical recycling and energy recovery. This book is intended for all those who are interested in recycling of post consumer plastic waste. Although, this book discusses technical aspects of recycling, the Authors have endeavoured to make this book easily understandable to anyone interested in the subject. This book enables the reader to gain a thorough grounding in all the subjects discussed and each chapter has a bibliography to allow follow up of subjects of interest. This book provides an invaluable resource for those already working in the field or for those just starting out in recycling.
2003-02-06 Plastics and the Environment John Wiley & Sons
ISBN 0471095206 ISBN-13 9780471095200
International Polymer Processing
Editor: Polymer Processing Society
Mould Flow software and CES Edu Pack for materials selection and case studies are available through our online system.