Revalorization of films from the printing industry and radiology in PET for making products which could be used again in the medical area and which will be the ultimate step of the life cycle because they will be incinerated after use: packaging for hospital and laboratory wastes which are presently made in HD polyethylene and are burnt with their content at high temperature.
The photographic industry utilizes polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and more silver than any other industry and films account for a significant portion of the silver. Hospitals the primary users of X-ray film, purge their archives periodically. Several processes to recover the silver are currently in use, from incineration of the films to different chemical treatment. In all these treatments, the support of the film PET is lost due to effects on the PET. Research was carried out with respect to finding a route to recover the film base and reuse the support to make rubbish bins to collect the toxic and dangerous waste from hospitals.
An economically viable solution was found for generating clean PET which was free of any contamination. It was also possible to find a PET film formulation usable in injection moulding to obtain for instance, a rubbish bin. Unfortunately, it seems very difficult to produce a rubbish bin economically. There is a possibility of using crystallized PET to make small rubbish bins for needles. It is fabricated by thermoforming the sheets after desilvering without grinding the product. The sheet is used without modification. This kind of product is required in hospitals and can meet the requests concerning the price. Some tests were conducted on thermoforming machine. It is necessary to transform the equipment to carry out the final part.
Improvement of silver extraction without destruction of the PET matrix.
Use of compatibilizers for PET.
Experiments on moulding of the revalorized product on existing moulders.
Cost/benefit study for assessing the provisional return and the marketing possibilities.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
CF40 9XX Williamstown