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Recycled materials catch a breeze.

In an effort to solve the nation's solid waste problems, DuPont and other members of the plastics industry are working to develop technologies to ensure that plastics are more recyclable and to find new applications for recovered polymers. One such demonstration of DuPont's recycling technology can be seen on the tall ship HMS Rose, whose 13,000 [ft.sup.2] of sails are made from recycled plastic soft drink bottles and plastic car fenders.

Pellets were extruded from more than 126,000 recycled soft drink bottles. A proprietary depolymerization process was then used to break down prototype car fenders into two basic ingredients, remove impurities, and create recycled resin from the ingredients. DuPont Fibers spun polyester yarn from the recycled resin, which is 100% recycled content -- no virgin material was used.

Chemical recycling technologies, like the one used to create sails for the HMS Rose, will enable thermoplastic polyester, nylon, and acetal to be renewed economically into first-quality polymers. The capability to go beyond mechanical recycling to polymer renewal will drive adoption of these materials for current and future automotive applications ranging from under-hood componentry to carpeting, according to DuPont.

Proprietary DuPont processes for recycling thermoplastic polyester and nylon allow the company to return complex, reinforced and painted parts back to their pure monomer ingredients. Because the process separates impurities and additives, the ingredients can be repolymerized into virgin polymer. With these processes, typical post-consumer plastic packaging, like PET beverage bottles, thermoplastic polyester auto parts and fabric, and more than 80% of all nylon used today for components, carpeting, and air bags, can be recovered economically and returned to virtually any original use in any market.
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Title Annotation:PlastiConcepts
Publication:Plastics Engineering
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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