Technical products are often made of metal-plastic composites in order to benefit from the properties of both these materials. For example, intricately shaped plastics for cars and sanitary applications are galvanized for protection and for the optical appearance of the plastic. In the car manufacturing and electronics industries, metal components such as distribution boxes and cable connectors are spray-coated with plastics.
For recycling purposes, such composite materials are first of all cut up (shredder, mill, etc.) and then mechanically broken down. The disadvantages of this method are the high degree of dissipation and in some cases the high loss of metal in the milling dust. These technologies generally do not allow recovery of the plastic fraction because recyclates from plastic dust fractions are of poor quality due to the exposure to high temperatures for long periods of time.
The aim of this research project is to completely separate the components of metal-plastic composites in high quality and so allow recycling of these into new materials. This requires a sequence of different technological processes. Solvent-based recycling and separation processes will be performed using debinding systems and inline drying (vacuum-extrusion) and combined with compounding technology for inline filtration (high-capacity melt filtration).
The solvent-based CreaSolv® Process* developed at the Fraunhofer IVV allows separation of metal-plastic composites under gentle conditions and hence recovery of high-quality plastic recyclates.
The project work involves optimizing this process for selected composites containing valuable components.
*CreaSolv® is a registered trade name of CreaCycle GmbH, Grevenbroich