Recycling of coated plastic components

A German research institute will start the joint company project “Sustainable refinement of plastics” in September 2023. The aim of the project is to reuse coated rejects and returns by means of recycling decoating and to prepare them for new refinement.

Application centre for coated plastic pasrts in Lüdenscheid
In the application centre for surface technology, various processes such as spray painting are available. Photo: KIMW

Many plastics are coated in a wide variety of areas for protection or to increase their visual value. At the same time, this makes reuse or recycling more difficult. Already in the production process of plastic finishing, high reject rates occur due to dirt inclusions and other defects.

Reworking is not always possible or economical; this increases material consumption and, at the same time, high-quality material has to be disposed of. In order to meet the demand for a more resource and environmentally friendly processing of plastics, it is necessary to consider the recycling of the rejects as well as of discarded refined or coated products.

The joint project is dedicated to this topic. The companies participating in the project determine which plastic substrates and coating materials will be considered. The following three approaches to refinement are being analysed: Recycling of coated components, decoating and direct recoating, and recycling of a decoated system. Changes due to decoating processes and/or recycled components will be shown by comparative analyses and tests.A number of advantages result for the users:

  • Material cost savings through recycling of rejects
  • Smaller CO2 footprint
  • Proof of the sustainable nature of the products
  • Possibilities for take-back business models
  • Securing competitiveness in the face of increased ecological requirements

More information: Kunststoff-Institut Lüsenscheid,

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