Addition of low wt% graphene can induce a marked improvement on physical, mechanical and barrier properties of PET. Evidence shows graphene improves the recyclability of polymers.
Addition of low wt% graphene can induce a marked improvement on physical, mechanical and barrier properties of PET (1)(2). Improvements in This could mean that a lower quantity of PET could be used within a specific application, e.g. a thinner walled PET bottle, and has been demonstrated by projects such as CORDIS-Nanomaster recently completed by the European Commission.
Evidence shows graphene improves the processing and properties of recycled of polymers such as PET (3), PLA (4) and Polyolefins (5) . Graphene itself is viewed as infinitely recyclable (6) and should therefore exhibit this function ad-infinitum. The Nanomaster project demonstrated that through three cycles the properties of polymer compounds were unaffected.
Through the use of co-extrusion a thin layer of graphene/PET could be introduced at the interface of the graphene and the foodstuff (Coca-Cola) to prevent chemical attack of the bulk material and upon recycling this would be incorporated into the bulk PET material for re-use, potentially improving the properties of that material. Upon further recycling the graphene within the nano composite will act as a broadband UV absorber (7) preventing one of the mechanism for yellowing of the PET (8)
(1) Istrate et al, Carbon, 2014
(2) Szymczyk et al, Journal of Nanomaterials, 2015
(3) Park et al, RSC Nanoscale, 2012
(4) Botta et al, MDPI Polymers, 2018
(5) Asmatulu et al, Polymer Composites, 2015
(6) Tonn et al, Journal of Cleaner Production, 2014
(7) Xie et al, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2015
(8) White Paper; How Light Impacts Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate (rPET) Characteristics; Plastic Technologies, Inc. (2015).
Improved Barrier properties of PET
Tuneable permeation properties of PET
Improved mechanical properties of PET
Improved and tuneable physicochemical properties of PET
Improved recycling stability of PET
Improved processibility of PET