Localized material and processing aspects related to enhanced recycled material utilization through vibration-assisted injection molding

Kikuchi A., Coulter J. P. , Angstadt D., Pinarbasi A.

Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Transactions of the ASME, vol.127, no.2, pp.402-410, 2005 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 127 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1115/1.1870012
  • Title of Journal : Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
  • Page Numbers: pp.402-410


With society focusing more and more on environmental issues, the recycling of materials of all types has become an important concern. As a result of previous processing and usage, the properties of recycled materials are often significantly inferior when compared to their unrecycled counterparts. Recycled polymeric materials, for example, have lowered molecular weights caused by previous thermal and/or shear histories. Thus, the scope of application for recycled materials has traditionally been very limited. With the aid of a new processing concept known as vibration-assisted injection molding (VAIM), the mechanical properties of products containing recycled polymeric materials could be dramatically improved. The current paper presents the results of an initial experimental investigation into the application of VAIM for recycled polystyrene (Recycled-PS) products. A number of recycled/new material blends were studied, and in all cases significant product mechanical property enhancements were realized through the use of VAIM. It was concluded that VAIM molded products containing as much as 50% low-grade recycled material could be made stronger than products made using traditional molding with 100% new polymer. Detailed results are presented in the paper, along with some insight into the likely fundamental mechanism underlying the utility of the VAIM technique. Copyright © 2005 by ASME.