UPGRADING MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF HETEROGENEOUS PLASTIC WASTE
Heterogeneous plastic waste can be generated by industrial processes or post-consumer waste.
Multilayer structures based on polyolefins - such as LDPE, PP, HDPE and engineering plastics - such as EVOH PA - are frequently used for flexible, semi-rigid and rigid plastic constructions. Flexible food packaging, agricultural films and car tanks are just a few examples.
The polyolefin ensures structural integrity, while the engineering plastic acts as a diffusion barrier for gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. As useful as these constructions may be, they have one big disadvantage: their difficulty in integrating into an efficient recycling channel, because the incompatibility of polymers leads to poor mechanical properties and monofractions cannot be separated economically. Therefore, landfilling, incineration and shipping to low-wage countries were the preferred methods of treating end-user plastic waste and post-industrial material on the basis of these multi-layered structures. However, with the ban on landfills and the introduction of even stricter regulations, with the aim of increasing the recovery of products, it is becoming increasingly urgent to subject these multilayer structures to a well-organised recycling process.
The dosage of a few percent of a compatibility agent based on ethylene-butylacrylate (EBA) -Lucofin® 1494H- and ethylene-butylacrylate (EBA) -Lucofin® 1400HN - or combinations thereof, into a polyolefin/technical plastic mixture significantly increases the mechanical properties compared to the corresponding incompatible mixture.