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Toray develops glass fibre reinforced PPS recycling technology-

Toray Industries, Inc., (Japan) announced that it has developed a technology that makes it possible to recycle glass fibre-reinforced polyphenylene sulphide (PPS-GFRP) whose performance matches initial performance of virgin resins. By Increasing recycling ratio of PPS GFRP, it will contribute to reducing CO2 emission. 

PPS resin is an engineering plastic with excellent heat resistance and chemical resistance. More than 90% of PPS resin is glass fibre reinforced and applied for various types of industrial applications. Also, PPS resin has excellent insulation resistance. It is applied for electronic parts such as semiconductors and EV parts. Demand of PPS resin is expected to increase along with these applications and the need of PPS recycling reins. 

The conventional process for recycling PPS-GFRP shortens glass fibres and break them. This significantly decreases mechanical strength. To meet the performance requirements of resin moulded products, manufacturers generally apply them in applications with lower quality requirements. This makes it difficult to increase the recycling ratio of PPS resin.

Toray developed pellets for recycling materials by leveraging proprietary compounding technology to blend PPS resin with special reinforcing fibres. Blending these pellets with recycled material makes it possible to maintain comparable performance with virgin material and can be applied to same application, such as horizontal recycling and expected to be used for various applications.

This technology can deliver comparable mechanical strength with injection grade mouldings wholly made with virgin material. This is even when recycled material accounts for 50% or more of the PPS-GFRP. Another benefit of 50% recycled content is that it reduces COemission by at least 40%.

The company is working on technologies to broaden variations by designing different resins and additives in pellets for recycling materials. It looks to supply recycled PPS-GFRP pellets after engineering optimal pellet blend ratios and formulations that meet customer demand requirements and by drawing on Materials Informatics-based prediction technologies.

Collaborating with several moulding companies and other business partners, Toray has already embarked on closed recycling initiatives with its technology. One move has been to supply customers with recycled PPS-GFRP pellets blended with those for materials recycling based on process remnants from customer plants. The company is also conducting tests to verify horizontal recycling and prepare for commercialization with cooperations from customers.

Toray plans to seek more partners to create a recycling scheme and will foster the use in open recycling for materials recovered from the marketplace, thus helping to realize a sustainable economy. A first step will be to develop sample work, primarily for customers in Japan, thereafter, launching offerings under Ecouse, Toray’s integrated brand for recycled materials and products.

One goal of the Toray Group Sustainability Vision for 2050 is to contribute to a world in in which resources are sustainably managed. The company will cater to customer demand for eco-friendly resins as part of ongoing efforts to realize its corporate philosophy of contributing to social progress by delivering new value while attaining sustainable growth.

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