Purpose – To convert the post‐production polyethylene terephthalate (PET)‐containing fabrics waste into new value‐added polymeric materials using maleic anhydride grafted linear low‐density polyethylene (LLDPE‐ g ‐MAH) for improved toughness and to optimise the results of such a modification. Design/methodology/approach – For effective toughening, various blends were made of polyamide 6 (PA) and post‐production PET‐containing fabrics waste (PET) by incorporating different concentrations of maleic anhydride grafted, linear low‐density polyethylene (LLDPE‐ g ‐MAH). The reactions of LLDPE‐ g ‐MAH with blend components were studied by Fourier transformation infrared spectroscopy, solubility behaviour of the products in formic acid and rheological measurements. Blends investigated were prepared in a co‐rotating twin‐screw extruder and characterised by differential scanning calorimetry and scanning electron microscopy. The static tensile property and impact strength of the blends were also measured. Findings – The modification of polyamide 6 and post‐production PET‐containing fabrics waste using LLDPE‐ g ‐MAH showed significant enhancement of impact and interfacial adhesion over the unmodified one. The modification caused a chemical linkage between LLDPE‐ g ‐MAH and blend components which led not only to forming PA‐ co ‐LLDPE‐ g ‐MAH‐ co ‐PET copolymers, but also to ensuring the intrinsically strong chemical bonds across LLDPE‐ g ‐MAH phase/PET phase/PA matrix interface, which was the main cause to the improved impact strength and interface adhesion. The optimum results were obtained at 10 per cent of LLDPE‐ g ‐MAH. Research limitations/implications – The post‐production PET‐containing fabrics waste used in the present context was defibrated before processing. Practical implications – The method developed provided a simple and practical solution to recycling and improving the toughness of post‐production PET‐containing fabrics waste. Originality/value – The method of recycling post‐production PET‐containing fabrics waste was novel and the new polymeric materials obtained could find numerous applications such as hybrid films, fibres and engineering polymers.
Pigment & Resin Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2006
Keywords: Waste recovery; Polyamides; Fourier transforms; Recycling
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