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Development of a low cost in-line polymer inspection system to improve the use of recycled materials in plastics processing industry

Objective

The polymer industry, including producers, converters and machine manufacturers employ 1.6 million people and generate annual sales worth over €300 billion. Europe is the world leader in plastics recycling and the second worldwide plastic producer, but competence by emerging industrialised nations, such as China, is growing bigger and represents a major thread for European interests in mid and long term. There is recently a big concern towards the recycling of wasted materials, including plastics. Despite the growth of recycled materials in the polymer sector, there are presently two main factors that prevent a higher use of recycled materials: Uncertainty in fixing final product density and quality of the final product, which is directly affected by viscosity of the blend. Yet despite this tremendous competition, many polymer processes still rely on trial and error for their optimisation, leading to the creation of enormous tonnes of scrap during adjusting periods. Current methods, which enable only indirect measurements such as temperature, screw torque and pressure, prove completely insufficient for characterising such complex behaviour. The industry needs rapid, reliable, non-invasive and cost effective analytical methods for process control in order to ensure desired values of density and viscosity of the polymer. This project thus proposes to develop a compact, non invasive, real-time sensor based on an ultrasonic piezoelectric transducer for in-line measurements during polymer processes. POLYSENSE will be designed for suitable insertion in a standard pressure port, which will enable the in-line measurement of density and viscosity of the polymers while circulating in a molten state inside the machine allowing the prediction of the polymer behaviour and the feedback to the process control. The proposal is highly relevant for the SME proposers who are polymer processors and will thus benefit directly as end-users from the developed POLYSENSE technology by incrementing the ratio of cheap recycled material within their products and increasing final product quality, or equipment builders and suppliers who will benefit from supplying this innovative technology to the European polymer processing industry.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/polymer science
  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/waste management/recycling

Call for proposal

FP7-SME-2010-1
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

BSG-SME - Research for SMEs

Coordinator

IBANEZ EXTRUSORAS, S.L.
Address
Calle Doctor Fleming 8
46930 Quart De Poblet
Spain
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 230 454,61
Administrative Contact
Jose M Ibáñez (Dr.)

Participants (7)

RHOSONICS ANALYTICAL BV
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 174 211,24
Address
Midden Engweg 37A
3882 TS Putten
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Willem Van Ballegoijen De Jong (Mr.)
A K INDUSTRIES LTD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 163 019,71
Address
Foxwood Court
HR2 6JQ Hereford
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Allen Green (Mr.)
SALVIO BUSQUETS SA
Spain
EU contribution
€ 153 711,35
Address
Calle Les Corts 10
08349 Cabrera De Mar Barcelona
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Alfred Cristina (Ms.)
MULTIPLAST KUNSTSTOFFVERARBEITUNG GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 173 453,71
Address
Industriestrasse 6
94513 Schonberg
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Peter Landendinger (Mr.)
NTRAM GENERAL S.A.
Spain
EU contribution
€ 9 786,30
Address
Calle Victor Pradera 45
08940 Cornella De Llobregat Barcelona
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Albert Nieto (Mr.)
UNIVERSITY OF BRADFORD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 12 944,70
Address
Richmond Road
BD7 1DP Bradford
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Sheila Fry (Ms.)
KAUNO TECHNOLOGIJOS UNIVERSITETAS
Lithuania
EU contribution
€ 6 808,38
Address
K Donelaicio 73
44029 Kaunas
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Kristina Stabokaite (Ms.)