Characterization of Recycled Plastics for Structural Applications

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Author(s) Tawiah P. O. | Andoh P. Y. | Agyei-Agyemang A. | Nyarko F.
Pages 259-267
Volume 5
Issue 6
Date June, 2016
Keywords Plastic, Tensile Test, Characterization, Bending Test, Modulus of Elasticity
Abstract

This work is designed to study experimentally, the mechanical behaviour of various waste plastic materials in Ghana. The materials studied were low density polyethene (LDPE), high density polyethene (HDPE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The extrusion process was used to recycle the waste plastic into pellets and injection moulding method used to prepare the pellets into the test specimen. Tensile and bend tests were performed and the results were used to determine the properties of the materials under study. The force and deflection/extension plots obtained, obeyed Hooke’s law. From the results, it was observed that, the percentage elongation of the used sachet water plastic (PET) and the black plastic (HDPE) fall within the range of the virgin material whilst the used white plastic (LDPE) falls outside the range. However, the young’s moduli and the ultimate strengths of the used plastic materials, differ from those of the virgin materials. The percentage ration of the used and the virgin were then computed to determine their use in engineering field. It was established that, for the ultimate strength, the percentage ratio for HDPE, PET and LDPE were 68.27%, 65.62% and 64.58% respectively. The corresponding moduli of elasticity of the materials as a percentage of the virgin materials were obtained as 48.20% for HDPE , 8.45% for PET and 49.10% for LDPE . The Ultimate tensile strength ranges from the literature, compared with that of some selected plastics commonly used in Ghana: HDPE, PET and LDPE were 68.2694%, 44.922% and 64.576% respectively. Also, the corresponding modulus of elasticity of the materials as a percentage of the virgin materials was obtained as 69.499% for HDPE, 6.684% for PET and 48.68% for LDPE. It was further observed that the percentage elongations of all the materials were within the range as the original material. Hence it can be concluded that HDPE would be a good material to be used for engineering application, for example, as a composite matrix for the construction of wind turbine blade.

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