FRP is a composite material that is recyclable. FRP storage tank manufacturers source the FRP scrap from the dealers to construct storage tanks and profiles. There are four basic classes of recycling as per the manufacturers. We will discuss these classes in this post in detail.
The four classes are as under:
Mechanical Recycling method includes shredding and grinding of the FRP scrap with the use of ground material in a new product. Manufacturers have focused on two size classes in previous mechanical recycling attempts. The first size class is coarse “chips” (1/4 to 1 inch square). These chips act as filler or structural enhancer in a new plastic product, such as polyurethane foam board.
The second size class is finer ground product that is >200 mesh. This is used as a filler material to lower the resin content of the part. Some FRP manufacturers are already making use of mineral fillers such as calcium carbonate for same purpose.
Mechanical recycling is among simplest and technically proven methods. However, there are some limitations to this method like safety hazards and low value of the end-product.
Safety is a greater concern when grinding FRP scrap, and the major safety issue is fire mishap. Grinding any material increases the area of surface exposed to air. FRP scrap is more flammable when ground.
Second issue is the low value of the end-products. The ground chips need to compete with structural reinforcing materials like glass fibers. The virgin materials are expensive than recycled ones, but they lack in strength characteristics. Recycled materials have superb strength characteristics and less reinforcing value.
Incineration – FRP scrap combustion with energy recovery is known a recycling method. The method does recover the content of energy of the scrap material but land-filling doesn’t. The bad side of this method is the generation of air pollution. Since FRP products have a low ratio of resin-to-fiber, the recovery of energy doesn’t justify the risks linked to this option.
Thermal – Thermal recycling is also known as pyrolysis in case of FRP scrap. This method involves heating of the material in an inert environment to recover the polymer material as oil. Since the inert environment doesn’t promote combustion, the effects of air pollution will remain low.
Chemical- FRP storage tank manufacturers use chemicals to mix the resin away from the fibers. Since the thermal stresses are absent, the fibers hold most of their strength characteristics using chemical method.
So now you know about the classes of recycling methods used by manufacturers for FRP scrap. If you have any query, ask in comments.
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