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Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design


Plastic waste found in oceans has become a major concern because of its impact on marine organisms and human health. There is significant global interest in recycling these materials, but their reclamation, sorting, cleaning, and reprocessing, along with the degradation that occurs in the natural environment, all make it difficult to achieve high quality recycled resins from ocean plastic waste. To mitigate these limitations, various additives including clay and rubber were explored. In this study, we compounded different types of ocean-bound (o-HDPE and o-PP) and virgin polymers (v-LDPE and v-PS) with various additives including a functionalized clay, styrene-multi-block-copolymer (SMB), and ethylene-propylene-based rubber (EPR). Physical observation showed that all blends containing PS were brittle due to the weak interfaces between the polyolefin regions and the PS domains within the polymer blend matrix. Blends containing clay showed rough surfaces and brittleness because of the non-uniform distribution of clay particles in the polymer matrix. To evaluate the properties and compatibility of the blends, characterizations using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and small-amplitude oscillatory shear (SAOS) rheology were carried out. The polymer blend (v-LDPE, o-HDPE, o-PP) containing EPR showed improved elasticity. Incorporating additives such as rubber could improve the mechanical properties of polymer blends for recycling purposes.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.