Utilization of Scrap Prepreg Wastes as a Reinforcement in a Wholly Recycled PlasticEPA Contract Number: 68D30119
Title: Utilization of Scrap Prepreg Wastes as a Reinforcement in a Wholly Recycled Plastic
Investigators: Blizard, Kent G.
Small Business: Foster-Miller Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: September 1, 1993 through March 1, 1994
Project Amount: $49,951
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1993) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , SBIR - Waste , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
Description:Foster-Miller proposes to utilize scrap prepreg waste as a reinforcement in recycled polyethylene. By reinforcing recycled plastics such as polyethylene with scrap prepreg and suitable binders, an economical useful product can be obtained. At the same time, this innovation will also help to reduce 2.5 million pound/yr of hazardous waste -- uncured prepreg scrap. Foster-Miller is working with a composites user who is developing alternative high value uses for scrap prepreg in order to eliminate the hazardous waste disposal problems. By utilizing post-consumer plastic waste as the matrix material, this product will also contribute to eliminating the landfill space problem. In addition, since the raw material costs of this recycled reinforced plastic are nominal, Foster-Miller's material will be cost-effective and consequently attractive to the commercial sector.
Since carbon fiber has a tensile modulus of 200 GPa and strength of 2760 MPa, Foster-Miller's innovative recycled material should be ideal for construction applications, overcoming the mechanical property limitations of current reinforced recycled plastics that utilize reinforcements such as wood fiber or fiberglass which have substantially lower properties than carbon fiber. With proper interfacial control between the reinforcement and the plastic matrix, their proposed recycled construction material should have mechanical properties competitive with wood, such as tensile strength of 75 MPa and modulus of 15 GPa. To show feasibility, they will compare the properties of their material to wood and demonstrate the effectiveness of the binder they choose. Practical extrusion processing conditions will be determined and a prototype extruded construction material produced. Phase I to thus enable them to move quickly to full-scale development in Phases II and III.