A Prime opportunity for recycled plastic
By Hamish Champ
Posted 24 July 2012
A three year-long pan-European project to produce high value plastic items from the lowest grade waste material is on the verge of developing commercially-viable products.
Entitled ‘Prime’ – Plastic Recyclate Injection Moulding Engineering – the project is a consortium of 10 partners from the UK and Europe, including universities, research centres and SMEs.
It proposes to use mixed polymer waste – effectively residue from already-recycled plastics – to manufacture high value products for use in infrastructure projects such as flood defences and railway cable channels, as well as automotive and aerospace sectors.
The aim is to make strong and versatile products that have similar properties to timber or aluminium, said Steve Morgan, Prime’s dissemination and exploitation manager.
Morgan told PRW the first two years of the 36-month project had been about “research and investigation”.
“We’ve now got to the point where we are producing products but we want to be happy with them in terms of their quality and ability to do the job before any commercial roll-out,” he said.
While Prime planned a “raft of tests” in the coming 12 months, Morgan said the processes undertaken so far had been satisfactory, although he added there were "many more challenges ahead to meet the demanding requirements made of the materials".
Prime is comprised of five UK partners, including plastics drainage specialist Caro Group, Acorn Project Management, which specialises in manufacturing with mixed polymers, and Brunel University, as well as three partners from Belgium and one each from France and Hungary.
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