New Zealand Successfully Synthesizes Waste Plastics into Advanced New Packaging Materials

According to the New Zealand Herald, the Advanced Composites Research Center at the University of Auckland has successfully synthesized two inexpensive plastic wastes into a new advanced plastic.

They synthesized a new polymeric plastic from used polyethylene plastic milk bottles and PET cola bottles. Tests have shown that the performance of this new type of plastic is obviously better than that of two kinds of raw materials. It is harder than any kind of raw materials, and the effect of isolating oxygen is increased by 2-3 times. It is very suitable for food packaging materials. The research center also found that the electromagnetic shielding of this new type of plastic is greatly enhanced by the addition of suitable additives and is an ideal packaging material for electronic products. What is more significant is that this new material can be recycled for several uses without degrading the performance. At present, this new type of plastic production machine has also been designed and manufactured by the center, with a daily production capacity of several hundred meters.

The successful synthesis of this new plastic is mainly due to the fact that the two raw materials have different melting points that differ by at least 40 degrees. When the milk bottle and the Coke bottle are melted together, the PET having a higher melting point forms tiny fibers having a diameter of micrometers or even nanometers. The small fibers are evenly distributed in the new material and greatly increase the strength and hardness.

At present, this new type of material is applying for a patent and is in the preparatory stage of commercialization.

Reprinted from: China Science and Technology Information

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