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These are the basic areas of PET recycle testing that PTI can supply. There are three concepts here:
- Primary recycle studies, which look at discrete processing steps.
- Large scale recycle studies look at entire systems covering flake, pellets, bottles and thermoforms.
- Directed studies can be simple quick tests all the way to comprehensive evaluations.
The main categories of testing are:
- Bottle & Thermoform Grinding
- Whole bottles and thermoforms are ground using an industry standard 3/8" screen to produce the flake needed for all the recycle evaluations.
- Aggressive hot caustic wash per the APR protocol
- Batch sizes up to 35 lb. can be aggressively washed following the APR protocol to remove surface dirt, grit, labels, adhesives and help to break apart multilayer structures etc.
- Air Elutriation
- Ground flake is air elutriated to remove fines, labels, fluff, and other lights. This is a critical step in helping to improve the quality of the PET flake by removing a large percentage of the lighter-than-PET flakes.
- Melt Filtration and Pelletization
- The cleaned and washed flake can be melt filtered through a variety of screen sizes to remove the non-melting non-PET particles remaining in the cleaned and washed flake.
- Solid Stating
- Batch sizes up to 125 lb. are solid stated to increase the IV of the PET recyclate to produce a material suitable for use in bottles, sheet, or strapping.
Additionally PTI performs a wide variety of basic recycle tests that include:
- Recycle Flake and Pellet Quality
- Ground dirty flake or clean/washed flake can be evaluated to determine the presence of non-PET contaminants, low melting and fluorescing materials, and color, color composition, and IV to name just some of the tests possible.
- Recycled PET pellets can also be evaluated to understand their impact on IV loss and yellowing when blended and molded at various levels with virgin PET materials.
- Tests include...
- PET Oven Bake Test
- PET Flake Contamination Test
- PET Quick Test for Color
- Degradable Additives Testing for PET
- PET Bottles
- PET bottles that contain new resins, additives, or made using multilayer structures can be evaluated to determine how the material component may impact the PET recycle stream.
- Whole bottle recycling studies can be performed on a complete package as it is intended to be introduced into the market place to help identify how each of the components might impact the PET recycle stream. This includes the closure and liner system, the label and its inks and adhesive, multilayer barrier materials, as well as additives such as oxygen scavengers and UV blockers.
- Thermoforms can be evaluated to determine the impact of introducing the thermoform back into the resins being used to make the sheet stock or even their impact on incorporation into the PET bottle stream.