Domestic processors are all set to revolutionize construction with plastic plywood – a product manufactured using plastics recovered from electronics.
RePolyTex (RPT), a leader in developing innovative technologies for recycling plastic waste, is going to make plastics recovered from electronics its new raw material. This feedstock will be used for manufacturing “plastic plywood” products for construction applications, like creating weather-resistive barriers and making outdoor wooden steps in parks.
RPT is targeting to begin test production of this project in the next few weeks at its Madison, N.C. facility. The project will be in partnership with Synergy Electronics Recycling, an electronic recycling company located adjacent to Madison, N.C. facility of RPT. TwoRivers ITAD Solutions, an R2 certified IT Asset Disposal (ITAD) solutions provider, will be its additional investor.
Ever since the project has announced, RPT and Synergy have been exchanging words of appreciation. While RPT’s chief technology officer, Lee Clayton, has designated Synergy as a producer of the excellent base material, Synergy President’s, Jason Prince, has called this partnership a big game-changer for his company.
The plan of action for manufacturing plastic plywood
Step 1: Collection of e-plastic
RPT will process shredded plastic recovered by Synergy from electronics like fax machines, printers, and other e-scrap devices. Between 300,000 and 400,000 pounds of common resins will be sent to the manufacturing site by Synergy per month, which will typically include Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), Polycarbonate (PC), and High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS), etc.
Step 2: The cleaning process
Through the cleaning process, RPT will decontaminate plastics recovered from electronics to wash off the remaining metals, like a self-tapping screw from the core of each plastic piece.
Step 3: Blending
The cleansed plastics will then be mixed in a proportion as required by the application feedstock. As per Clayton, blending improves product – more mixing, better results.
Step 4: Molding
The blended plastic will then be poured into the molds of various designs. In views of Clayton, this step is “a bit more forgiving” than a sheet extrusion process or blow molding. He calls it the fusion encapsulation process.
This project of manufacturing plastic plywood from plastics recovered from electronics is one of those projects that have recently attracted a grant from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality for their materials recovery efforts.