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In times of raw material scarcity and climate change, it is becoming increasingly important to deal effectively and efficiently with existing resources.
In the area of plastic recycling, there has been a rapid technical "upgrade" in the last few years, as more and more demands are being made to realize a recycling management. The chair for polymer processing has specialized in the upcycling of (technical) thermoplastics and the sustainability analysis (LCC / LCA).
Rec2TecPart - Functional components made of polymer secondary raw materials
Secondary raw materials in the plastics sector have so far hardly been used in high-quality functional components since high quality requirements prevail.
The FFG COIN project "Rec2TecPart" aims to enable the use of secondary products in this complex area for SMEs. With the help of a new value-added process, new products are to be replaced technically and economically by means of quality recyclates, so-called RecHQs. This means high resource efficiency and lower CO 2 emissions. For this purpose tailor-made starting material is manufactured from plastic waste for technically demanding applications. This is done with a continuous process from the collection system through the polymer recycler to the polymer processor.
PolySlag - Blast furnace slag as sustainable functional filler for polymers
Blast furnace and steel slags are compulsory in steel production and are normally disposed of. Due to their unique, multi-phase nature, completely new materials could be produced by intermixing in polymer matrices.
The current FFG-BRIDGE research project „PolySlag“ is investigating the potential of blast furnace slag (BFS) as a functional filler for polypropylene (PP) and polystyrene (PS) as an alternative to mineral fillers. The first results were promising in so far as the rheological properties of the BFS filled polymers were similar to the neat polymer causing no processing difficulties. Regarding their application properties an increased thermal conductivity as well as higher stiffness compared to the neat polymer were achieved.
Partner: Polymer Competence Center Leoben GmbH (PCCL), voestalpine Stahl GmbH
Life Cycle Assessment of r2PET
Life Cycle Assessment of r2PET
In this life cycle assessment at the Chair of Polymer Processing the goal was to determine, if any CO2 eq. saving is possible, when 1 t r2PET is used in the non-food sector in Austria in 2017 instead of 1 t of PET virgin material.
Life-cycle-assessment (LCA) is a technique to assess environmental impacts associated with all stages of a product‘s life from cradle to grave (i.e. from raw material extraction through material processing, manufacture, distribution, use to disposal or recycling). LCA compares hereby the environmental effects assignable to products and services by quantifying all inputs and outputs of material and energy flows. This information can be used to improve both, products and processes.
The research work of the Chair for Polymer Processing focuses on twice recycled PET, manufactured by TPKL GmbH, per an internal r2PET process. Thus, the functional unit is 1 t of r2PET granulate, which is compared with 1 t virgin PET granulate (PET NW).