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Effect of cyclic reprocessing on nylon 12 under injection moulding: working towards more efficient recycling of plastic waste
Materials Today Sustainability  (IF4.524),  Pub Date : 2020-11-07, DOI: 10.1016/j.mtsust.2020.100056
Md. Shahruk Nur-A-Tomal, Farshid Pahlevani, Wilson Handoko, Sagar T. Cholake, Veena Sahajwalla

Due to the limitations that impede traditional recycling technologies, only a small percentage of waste plastic are currently recycled. Most recycling processes create products that are poor in terms of performance and value. To produce high-quality products from plastic waste and bringing back these valuable materials to the economy after their end-of-life, it is important to know the change in polymer properties during cyclic reprocessing. During this study, investigations were conducted to create a profound understanding of the effects of cyclic reprocessing on the properties of nylon 12. First, the flow behaviour of molten nylon 12 in injection mould was studied. Then, optimised processing conditions were established by investigating the tensile and impact strength of moulded products. Finally, the influence of cyclic reprocessing on the material was assessed through tensile test, impact test, thermal analysis, X-ray diffractometry (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The obtained results indicate that nylon 12 could be recycled at least four times without drastically changing its properties. A slight decrease in the tensile strength, impact strength, glass transition temperature and percentage crystallinity was observed as the number of reprocessing cycles increases. Furthermore, no significant variation of FTIR spectra indicated that multiple reprocessing had not changed the molecular structure of nylon 12. Together, the various elements of this research could be helpful in developing more effective and efficient recycling processes for plastic waste.