Posted on 07/11/2018 in Electric & Electronic Recycling 2018
Recycling cable polymers

Diaz et al. (2018) tested recycling of post-consumer cable polymers back to cables by milling and rotational molding to produce 200mm test polymer cubes, after blending 10-50% with virgin polyethylene (PE). The recovered cable materials came from a waste management company in the Canary Islands, Spain, after metal recovery from cables, and contained a mixture of PE, cross-linked PE co-polymers, PIN flame retardants, PVC and rubber. Up to 35% of recovered material could be used without significant deterioration of mechanical properties. Use of multiple layers in the moldings, with lower recycled content in external layers, improved appearance. In privious cited work (Boss, Swerea, 2014) cable production scrap cables recycling (ABB, Draka, Eriksson, Nexans) and End-of-Life cable wastes (Stena recycling) were tested, concluding that recycling was feasible, but that recycling of HFFR (halogen free flame retardant) cable was challenging because of high filler content and filler decomposition. Additionally, contaminatoin by even small amounts of PVC (from non HFFR cables) drastically reduced the mechanical performance of recycled HFFR materials, although use of an EVA compatibiliser may mitigate this problem.

Diaz, S., et al., Waste Management, Volume 76, June 2018, Pages 199-206, Recycling of polymeric fraction of cable waste by rotational moulding.

Boss A. 2014, Swerea IVF-Report 21813, Recycling of electrical cables. With focus on mechanical recycling of polymers, (35pp)

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