Plastics Technology and Recycling

Plastics Technology and Recycling

Development and practical implementation of recycling processes as well as the formulation of new high-quality recyclates and products from thermoplastic post-consumer and post-production waste is the core task of the Department of Plastics Technology and Recycling at the IKK.

The comprehensive machinery in the technical centre of plastics technology with diverse single and co-rotating twin-screw extruders as well as a blown film extruder enables development of various specific technologies for recycling of thermoplastics. During processing it is possible to melt, degas, reinforce, fill, colour, functionalize using various additives, concentrate, homogenize and compact materials. The compounders are complemented with two special recycling extrusion lines. The special feature of these lines is that extensive inline and online analytic modules enable investigation of the processes taking place in the plants and thus allow significant optimization of the recycling methods and quality of the output material. The online and inline analytics include besides others a spectral photometer, moisture measurement system and a rheometer. This enables monitoring of the material properties during an ongoing process and offers a deep understanding about the changes of the material properties depending on the used process parameters.

Diverse one- and two-component injection moulding plants enable industry-oriented processing of the developed polymer materials and fabrication of various thermoplastic products for research purposes or a material and application-specific process optimization. A wide range of available moulds enables realisation of diverse geometries.

Furthermore, one plant represents a combination of extrusion and injection moulding processes. In this case it is possible to combine recycling and material manufacturing on the one side with the further processing and product manufacturing on the other side. Processing using the same heat offers technical, ecologic and economic advantages.

Depending on the plants ranging from laboratory to industrial scale it is possible to realize a material output from 0,5 to 200 kg/h in the case of extrusion and a closing force from 10 t to 650 t with a shot weight from 4 to 2092 g (PS) in the case of injection moulding plants. Consequently, an industrial manufacturing process can be reproduced using these technical facilities.

Using further machinery specially designed for research purposes it is possible to adapt processes, like e.g. float-sink technology, cold grinding and pyrolysis for recycling of specific products.