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TitleRecycling of Poly(ethylene terephthalate) as Polymer-Polymer Composites
Author(s)Evstatiev, M.
Fakirov, Stoyko
Krasteva, B.
Friedrich, K.
Covas, J. A.
Cunha, A. M.
Issue date2002
JournalPolymer Engineering and Science
Citation“Polymer Engineering and Science”. 42:4 (2002) 826-835.
Abstract(s)Microfibrillar reinforced composites (MFC) comprising an isotropic matrix from a lower melting polymer reinforced by microfibrils of a higher melting polymer were manufactured under industrially relevant conditions and processed via injection molding. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) (matrix) and recycled poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) (reinforcing material) from bottles were melt blended (in 30/70 and 50/50 PET/LDPE wt ratio) and extruded, followed by continuous drawing, pelletizing and injection molding of dogbone samples. Samples of each stage of MFC manufacturing and processing were characterized by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS), dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA), and mechanical testing. SEM and WAXS showed that the extruded blend is isotropic but becomes highly oriented after drawing, being converted into a polymer-polymer composite upon injection molding at temperatures below the melting temperature of PET. This MFC is characterized by an isotropic LDPE matrix reinforced by randomly distributed PET microfibrils, as concluded from the WAXS patterns and SEM observations. The MFC dogbone samples show impressive mechanical properties—the elastic modulus is about 10 times higher than that of LDPE and about three times higher than reinforced LDPE with glass spheres, approaching the modulus of LDPE reinforced with 30 wt% short-glass fibers (GF). The tensile strength is at least two times higher than that of LDPE or of reinforced LDPE with glass spheres, approaching that of reinforced LDPE with 30 wt% GF. The impact strength of LDPE increases by 50% after reinforcement with PET. It is concluded that: (i) the MFC approach can be applied in industrially relevant conditions using various blend partners, and (ii) the MFC concept represents an attractive alternative for recycling of PET as well as other polymers.
DescriptionPublished by Wiley for the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE).
AccessRestricted access (UMinho)
Appears in Collections:IPC - Artigos em revistas científicas internacionais com arbitragem

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