Environment

Improving the properties of recycled PVC

Polymer recycling produces materials whose properties are generally considered inferior to those of virgin material. Recycling therefore causes changes in the material’s mechanical and rheological properties. In research from Brazil, recycled post-consumer PVC was treated with SF 6  plasma to render its properties, especially electrical resistivity, similar to those of virgin resin.

Another objective of this work was improving other surface properties, such as wettability, aiming for the best dielectric properties in virgin and recycled PVC. Time and power parameters were tested and the best condition (2 min, 80W, 120º) was repeated to verify surface resistivity, roughness, abrasion, and chemical composition. The aging effect (160 days) on wettability was evaluated and samples remained hydrophobic. Fluorine atoms (45%) were incorporated on the surface of treated samples, altering their chemical composition (40%C, 13%Cl and 45%F) and precluding their classification as PVC or PTFE. The researchers believe that fluorine was probably the main factor responsible for the greater hydrophobicity in PVC.

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