The green chemistry process considers the environmental impact of the entire life cycle of a product from design and innovation, to minimizing the use of raw materials and energy, through the manufacturing process and down to the final stages of recycling or reusing commercial by-products are addressed. Earthwise™ is committed to using green chemistry in the creation of GreenArmor™ and other products under the eco-friendly brand
Recyclability of plastics using GreenArmor therefore needs to be compared with commercial fire retarded plastics. The following is an excerpt from Susan D. Landry’s whitepaper comparing the recyclability of plastics using GreenArmor with commercial fire retarded plastics.
Mechanical recycle of plastics from electronics and electrical equipment (EEE) applications is becoming an important end-of-life (EOL) option. This growth results in materials for use in the original or in downgraded applications, depending on the thoroughness of sorting, dismantling, identification, and shredding of large parts.
The recycle evaluations performed on HIPS containing Earthwise GreenArmor and commercial PC/ABS containing resorcinol diphenyl phosphate (RDP) included an extended heat and humidity recycle evaluation.
The extended heat and humidity recycle evaluation was intended to simulate the potential exposure of EEE to heat and humidity via outdoor storage at EOL. It consisted of injection molding each of the same materials used in the multi-pass recycle evaluation, saving test specimens, and subjecting the remainder of the test specimens to accelerated heat and humidity conditions of 80°C and 95% relative humidity for 168 hours. Upon aging, the parts were ground into small pieces.
Blends of the aged materials and the respective dried neat resin from the bag (prior to injection molding) were injection molded and evaluated as follows:
• 0% aged material (100% neat resin) wt%
• 30% aged material (70% neat resin) wt%
• 100% aged material (0% neat resin) wt%
The three materials were dried at conditions specified by the manufacturer prior to each molding cycle. Physical and flammability properties were measured on each material at each blend ratio of neat resin and humid aged material.
The HIPS containing GreenArmor maintained the UL-94 V-0 rating in both the 30% aged recyclate (70% neat resin), and the 100% aged recyclate evaluations. The commercial PC/ABS containing RDP maintained the UL-94 V-1 rating in the 30% aged recyclate evaluation. In the 100% aged recyclate evaluation, the UL-94 rating of the PC/ABS containing RDP UL-94 was reduced to a V-2 due to drips that ignited the cotton in multiple test specimens.
Read the full paper, including the multi-pass 100% recycle evaluation, here, and tell us what you think. Or leave a comment to let us know what factors are most important when choosing a fire retardant — is recyclability important for your products?
With over twenty-five years with Albemarle, Susan D. Landry serves as the company’s Advisor, Fire Safety & Advocacy. In this role, Susan promotes the benefits of Albemarle’s flame retardant products with a wide variety of stakeholders, particularly in the U.S. A respected expert on flame retardants, Susan has received fourteen patents related to these products and has presented numerous papers and presentations on flame retardants, with a particular emphasis on fire safety, regulatory, and recyclability. She recently authored a chapter (“Changing Chemical Regulations and Demands”) in the American Chemical Society Book entitled, “Fire Retardancy ofPolymeric Materials, 2nd Edition.” Susan has served on an assessment panel in the Building & Fire Research Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and she is a member of the SPE, SFPE, and SAE. Susan received a Bachelor of Science in Polymer Science from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1984.