Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Adding Value to Recycled Polyethylene Through the Addition of Multi-Scale Reinforcements
by Hill, Meagan E., M.S.E., The University of Akron, 2005, 116; 10805834
Abstract (Summary)

As a result of the degradation experienced by polymers during their use and the impurities acquired during the recycling process, recycled polymers tend to have weaker mechanical properties than their virgin counterparts. Efforts have been made to upgrade recycled high-density polyethylene so that it may compete with virgin material, both economically and performance wise.

This study focuses on the improvement of the mechanical properties of recycled high-density polyethylene (RHDPE) through the addition of multi-scale reinforcements. RHDPE composites reinforced with nanoclay, cellulose fibers, and a combination of the two were made. The effects of the reinforcements on the mechanical properties of the composites as well as the effect of compatibilization on the composite properties are highlighted.

To address the economic objective of this study, bentonite is investigated as a possible alternative to montmorillonite as the nanofiller in the hybrid system. Bentonite is the ore from which montmorillonite is refined. So, it is less expensive than montmorillonite, but possesses the same layered silicate structure.

In this study, a hybrid composite was made and shown to have increased tensile strength and elastic modulus compared to that of virgin HDPE. The nanoscale clay reinforcement was found to provide effective stiffening to the composite, while the microscale cellulose reinforcement was found to have effective strengthening.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Goettle, Lloyd
School: The University of Akron
Department: Polymer Engineering
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: MAI 57/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Polymer chemistry
Keywords: Cellulose, Clay, Clay treatment, Cloisite, Ma-g-pe, Tensile strength
Publication Number: 10805834
ISBN: 978-0-355-83462-8
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