Results from comparing degraded vs new HDPE.
Hi everyone, over here in Taranaki, New Zealand we have been running a youth project called Trashformers through the not-for-profit group Upcycle Taranaki. We have been collecting beach plastics and new milk bottle lids (both HDPE) and creating different shapes and sizes out of the 2 types of HDPE. Then we have been testing to see if degraded beach plastic is strong enough to use in products (rather than collecting it and putting it into landfill!).
Degraded Beach Clean up plastics #2 are as strong as Newer HDPE Plastics when melted and moulded into a small block and strength tested.
Summary of results:
– Compression test shows plastic cylinders are stronger than concrete. Insignificant difference between degraded and new cylinders. MPa readings between 23.5 and 27.5.
– Tensile strength showed a slightly higher median MPa readings of 28.59 and 27.56 for degraded and new respectively – statistically insignificant.
– Degraded plastics are more squishy and flexible. Our samples failed the expected elongation test (could be due to inconsistencies in the extruding process.
– Density of both samples are very similar and <1 (floats)
@upcycletaranakinz , Thank you for posting. What a great program and great results. Having the kids generate actual quantitative material property comparisons is a wonderful lesson in science fundamentals.
Did you see the work http://onearmy.world/community/forums/topic/ocean-plastic-research/ the PP team did in the Maldives where they turned some very nasty looking degraded beach plastic into stuff. Similar conclusion that the degraded plastic is usable.
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