How to recycle PE foam?
Hi Amigos, Fabio here from Canada. I’m working on a project where I’d like to recycle large amounts of PE foam but I can’t seem to find a solution. Any suggestions?
I currently mechanically recycle PU foam into carpet underlay. Next up – PE 🙂
Hi do you have pictures of what you mean… Is it a lot? Recurrent? Or one shoot?
Have a good day
Yes, we have an awful lot and it is recurring. Big recycling challenge for us.
Thanks for your response.
PE is also found inside life jackets:
maybe you could use it as thermal lining for say, picnic blankets, outdoor seat matts … I just remember it being warm and insulating. we used to use it to wrap models and literally whole roles would be wasted and I’m talking hundreds of meters!
I assume that melting it would be unproductive and possibly dangerous so maybe a simple case of repurposing? you could combine it with Davids plastic bag melting idea to cover the foam in a protective tarp to make endurable products such as outdoor matts etc.
hope this helps, keep on exploring,
Thanks for your input – thermal lining is a great idea because it is insulating. Awesome.
Do you think shredding and extruding it through Dave’s machines would work? Then maybe pelletize it?
I do love the idea of re-use but the scale of the waste is rather large and I just don’t know who could re-use all that material (some is very mis-shapen too).
sorry for the late reply, my feed doesn’t update whether u responded or not.
actually yes! maybe if it was shredded and put inside something as insulation…
maybe some tests are in order:
what happens when it gets wet? if it goes sticky can it clump together? could you create a block some how? could it be compressed with a little heat? does heat make it go sticky and bondy? how much heat before it shrivels?
maybe you could heat gun it to test, or bake it or iron it between grease proof paper… hey! that could be cool!
I’m sure you would anyway but I will say this just so I cover my ass, wear a fume mask or do it near extraction, I can only guess the fumes would be toxic.
sounds awesome, maybe send some pics of results? (an inspirational pic attached.)
keep in touch,
All great ideas, thanks buddy!
I have some lab testing to do… I think shredding and somehow binding would make for some good insulation. I wonder what the R value might be, and the flame retardant properties of it… all need to be looked into.
Hi, have you considered melting in acetone or D-Limonene which might be a cleaner solvent?
shred it, and extrude it would be my guess. polyethlyenes don’t really out-gas much harmful stuff, unlike the styrenes.
I think the only real issue is getting the bubbles out of it when you extrude back to pellets for re-use.
If it is post-industrial, closed cell cross-linked, PE in the 2-4lb density range My company consumes 4 million lbs a year. We are Polygreen Foam in Coldwater Michigan.
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