RESEARCH: Recyclate material use in white goods / Feasibility study by Fraunhofer Institute -- K Trade Fair

14/01/2022

Plastics News by Plasteurope.com

RESEARCH: Recyclate material use in white goods / Feasibility study by Fraunhofer Institute

Optimised recycled plastics can perform similarly to virgin plastics in large white-goods applications, said researchers at German applied research organisation, Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability (LBF, Darmstadt; www.lbf.fraunhofer.de), working with compatriot electrotechnical group Robert Bosch (Stuttgart; www.bosch.com) and home appliance firm BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte (BSH, Munich; www.bsh-group.com), in a step towards making household appliances more sustainable.

The partners demonstrated that recyclates can be used in higher value-added applications beyond packaging: they tested material recycled from automotive starter batteries that was suitable for manufacturing 2 kg dishwasher case bottoms and a case bottom pin that is subject to mechanical stress when the dishwasher door is opened and closed. Based on a production figure of 3m dishwashers per year, case bottoms produced from recyclate could save around 2500 t of crude oil annually, equivalent to oil transported in a 110 m long barge, Fraunhofer reported.

The research calculated material characteristics by subjecting case bottom test pins made from virgin and recyclate material to a set test force applied 100,000 times an amount equal to the lifespan of the component in the application. Additives were used to increase the strength and visual properties of the recyclate, which proved to be 15% weaker than virgin plastics, yet demonstrated stiffness properties similar to virgin material. The feasibility study concluded that the recyclate could replace virgin material in the application.

More news on Plasteurope.com...