The influence of compatibilizer addition and gamma irradiation on mechanical and rheological properties of a recycled WEEE plastics blend
Journal article, 2016
Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is growing rapidly, and the plastics within WEEE have an important role in fulfilling the recovery and recycling targets defined in the European WEEE Directive. This study considers recycling of WEEE plastics by making a blend of the different plastics instead of separating them. The mechanical and thermal properties can be enhanced by adding a compatibilizer. It was found that one compatibilizer, a styrene-b(ethylene-co-butylene)-b-styrene (SEBS) copolymer named Kraton® G1652 E, had a large impact on the ductility of the recycled WEEE plastics blend. By adding 2.5 weight % (wt%) of this copolymer, the elongation at break increased by more than five times compared with the non-compatibilized samples, with only a small decrease in stiffness and strength. The storage modulus (G’) decreased slightly with increasing compatibilizer amounts while the impact strength increased with increasing amounts of compatibilizer, from 2.1 kJ/m2 (reference material) to 3.6 kJ/m2 (5 weight % (wt%) compatibilizer). It was found that Kraton® FG1901 E (styrene-b(ethylene-co-butylene)-b-styrene (SEBS) grafted with maleic anhydride (MAH)), Royaltuf® 372P20 (styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) modified with ethylene-propylene-diene elastomers (EPDM)) and Fusabond® P353 (polypropylene (PP) with a high degree of grafted MAH) were ineffective as compatibilizers to the blend. Gamma irradiation (50 kGy) did not improve the mechanical properties however: the impact strength of the gamma-irradiated samples was lower than that of the non-irradiated samples.