STTR Phase II: Self-Reinforced Composites Made of Immiscible Polymers from Recycled Products

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0848524
Agency Tracking Number: 0712305
Amount: $500,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: EO
Solicitation Number: NSF 06-598
Small Business Information
916 Stream Valley Trail, Alpharetta, GA, 30022
DUNS: 626754910
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 F. Daniel Tsai
 (770) 521-1273
Business Contact
 F. Daniel Tsai
Title: PhD
Phone: (770) 521-1273
Research Institution
 Georgia Tech Research Corporation-GA Tech Research Institute
 Donggang Yao
 505 Tenth Street NW
Atlanta, GA, 30332-
 (404) 894-9076
 Federally funded R&D center (FFRDC)
This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II project is seeking to develop and commercialize a novel method for recycling immiscible polymer (IP) wastes into value-added products. In this new method, the IP waste is converted into highly-orientated filaments with a surface of a relatively lower melting point polymer and a core of a relatively higher melting point polymer. These high-strength bicomponent fibers are then processed into desired composite components by melting and fusing the surface polymer; because only the surface polymer is melted during processing, the end product is reinforced by its high-strength core fibril of the higher-melting-point polymer. The broader/commercial impact of this project will be an enabling process to cost effectively produce self-reinforced composites from recycled, immiscible Polyprophelene(PP)/nylon. For the carpet recycling market alone, this approach will reduce more than 5 billion pounds per year of carpet waste. By converting the waste stream into value-added products with improved mechanical properties the carpet waste will never reach our landfills. This process eliminates complicated sorting and separation steps, uses less energy for production, and reduces crude oil consumption needed for virgin polymers. For transportation applications, the self-reinforced composites' excellent strength to weight ratio can help produce lighter component parts, enhancing fuel efficiency. The new reinforced materials can be further processed by molding/forming processes to create 3-D parts with enhanced mechanical properties. This technology shows that recycled polymer blends prepared in an appropriate way can deliver superior value-added performance over virgin polymers.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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