Motor manufacturers from America, Europe and Japan are showing increased interest in using recycled polymers in a bid to increase profitability, according to polycarbonate colour compounder, Sytek.
Sytek, part of Wirral-based The O’Brien Group, says that manufacturers can now take advantage of new opportunities to use recycled polycarbonate over prime.
Director of Operations, Simon Calladine, said that the quality of recycled materials has now improved so much that companies, which had previously rejected the use of recycled grade due to quality and inconsistency issues, should think again.
But he warns that manufacturers must satisfy themselves that suppliers are producing the quality they expect. Even though it is a recycled material, customers should insist on a Certificate of Conformity, impact test, Melt Flow Index test and colour test results with every batch.
“A lot of suppliers think they know how to produce the material their customers want, but they often use the wrong additives, dyes or pigments – which could be why recycled material has suffered from such a poor reputation in the past,” he said. “Polycarbonate is very fussy about what you put into it. There are a lot of things it doesn’t like.” But manufacturers could be missing a huge opportunity to increase profitability if they dismiss recycled out of hand.
Simon adds: “Recycling within our industry has been going on for many years, but is often recycled into less demanding applications. For example, the sprues and rejected mouldings from an automotive application are being recycled into bus shelter seats or plant pots when they should be going back into an automotive application. By using the right compounding company, the quality of the recycled polymer can still be good enough to be re-used in its original application.
“This is proper recycling that saves the manufacturer money. A real win, win situation.”
Simon admits to being ‘fired up’ by the challenge of finding technical solutions to his customers’ requirements.
“It’s relatively easy to use recycled polymer in products for domestic use – and Sytek’s sister company OPM (O’Brien Plastic Mouldings) is doing this very effectively, particularly within the horticultural sector where it manufactures a wide range of plant pots, seed trays and other items from recycled polymer. However, with the technical knowledge and expertise now available within our industry, too many companies are missing the opportunity to steal a march on their competitors if they don’t explore opportunities to recycle.
“Why spend money buying prime polycarbonate or PC/ABS, when the same specifications can be achieved by using high-quality recycled colour compound?”
Note to Editors
Sytek manufactures Sylex, which is exclusive to the company, and is probably unique in the UK for concentrating on polycarbonate compounding with a technical team specialising in colouring prime and recycled polycarbonate. Sytek is part of The O’Brien Group plastics division - OBG Plastics comprising injection moulding and vacuum forming company O’Brien Plastic Moulding, CD recovery, styrene recovery from CDs and polycarbonate - Polymer Reprocessors and polycarbonate & PC/ABS compounding – Sytek.
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