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Lab investment offers potential for more recycled polymer grades

An expansion of testing and the development of more recycled polymer grades has been made possible by new investment in laboratory equipment by Axion Polymers at its Salford-based plastics recycling facility in the UK.

Axion’s in-house capability now includes a Fourier Transform mid-infrared spectrometer for analysing the composition of black and dark-coloured polymer chips, a near-infrared multi-chip spectrometer for rapid analysis of large quantities of polymer chips and an x-ray fluorescence analyser for heavy metals and bromine.

The laboratory also has a notched Izod impact tester, a tensile tester and a lab-scale injection moulder to produce test pieces and evaluate moulding performance.

Axion’s Salford plant refines plastics taken from end-of-life vehicles at its facility at nearby Trafford Park, Manchester. Mark Keenan, Axion Polymers’ business development manager, says the new laboratory equipment provides an improved range and accuracy of results.

‘Being able to guarantee consistent quality results and product is so important to all our customers, most of which run their operations 24 hours a day. The new laboratory equipment will ensure we are able to do that,’ he adds.

Pasika Chongcharoenthaweesuk, Axion’s process development engineer says the investment ensures reliable data for our polymer quality and process control. ‘This helps to optimise the process, not only to produce a consistent quality product but also to improvethe quality and increase the throughput. This has opened up new opportunities for us to develop products suitable for other applications.’

The new injection moulding and test equipment will allow Axion to develop new grades more quickly.

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