REPLAY

REPLAY-Proyectos-CETIM_574x430 (1)

Recycling of polyamides for additive manufacturing

Consortium:

  • UTINGAL
  • ECOPLAS
  • Moveratus
  • ENSO
  • Seidor

 

OBJECTIVE:
REPLAY main objective is focused on technological research with digital tools for products, processes, materials and services that reduce the environmental impact in industry through the use of enabling technologies such as advanced materials, nanotechnologies and biotechnologies.

Infografía proyecto REPLAY

REPLAY project scheme. Source: http://ensoinnovation.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Replay.png

 

Led by UTINGAL, a reference company in the aeronautical sector, REPLAY will focus on the mechanical recycling of by-products from the aeronautical industry, thanks to obtaining high value-added composites focused on their use in advanced technologies, such as 3D printing. All this using intelligent digital tools for the interpretation, automation and execution of intuitive solutions in human-machine interaction. REPLAY’s ultimate goal is to develop a comprehensive industrial process for recycling polyamides, which can be exported in a simple and accessible way to any plastic industry. The consortium is made up of five companies that cover the entire value chain. From ENSO we will investigate and develop solutions for the chemical formulation of recycled composites; MOVERATUS for the automation and development of 3D printing technologies; MSS-SEIDOR for the development of a fully transversal, universal, parameterizable and usable software, compatible with the management systems of potential REPLAY users; ECOPLAS its revaluation in the food packaging sector; and UTINGAL for the development of the physical operating installation and related engineering work. REPLAY also has the participation of two reference centers such as CETIM and UVIGO.

 

 

Thus, REPLAY will generate a solution to the polymeric waste produced in industries, giving it an added value use such as additive manufacturing, relying on new material formulations and advanced manufacturing processes optimized through the use of ICTs that will facilitate its deployment..

 

This project is subsidized by the Galician Innovation Agency within the framework of the 2021 call for the CONECTA HUBS 2021 Program (Line 1). It has been supported by the Second Vice Presidency and the Ministry of Economy, Business and Innovation (Xunta de Galicia) and has co-financing from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the framework of the ERDF Galicia 2014-2020 Operational Program.

 

 

ENSO PROGRESS ON THE REPLAY PROJECT

2021 annuity advances:
ENSO has carried out a complete characterization of five materials from polyamide waste, determining which of all is the most interesting in order to obtain the most interesting polymer formulation for additive manufacturing. On the other hand, ENSO has carried out an optimization of the washing and conditioning process of the sample that presented a greater number of identified elements and therefore the sample that presented a greater degree of contamination, determining the most interesting operating conditions at the time to carry out these necessary processes for the mechanical recycling of polyamides. In addition, grinding to different particle sizes was carried out and the compounding process began. For this, the polyamide residue that presented the least degree of contamination was chosen based on the characterizations carried out, and it has been made compatible with a commercial polyamide PA6 in different proportions.

2022 annuity advances:
During the 2022 year, progress has been made in optimizing the washing and conditioning processes of the most abundant and representative sample derived from obtaining parts for the aeronautical sector. Based on these studies, compounding studies have continued to obtain various polymer formulations by including virgin polyamide. Through the aforementioned studies for obtaining polymeric formulations, the most suitable temperature profile and the most suitable type of nozzle for the application in question were determined. It was confirmed by using additive manufacturing equipment that one of the study formulations was successfully printed by fused deposition modelling.

2023 annuity advances:
During 2023 annuity, ENSO carried out a technical and economic validation of the formulation based on the recycled polyamide found to be optimal. Within the technical feasibility, the raw materials necessary for the manufacture of the compound and the systems to be acquired for the industrialisation of the process have been studied. For the economic feasibility analysis, the variable and direct costs associated with raw materials, labour and energy consumption were determined. Finally, based on all the studies and results achieved during the project, ENSO has provided feedback of its know-how to the rest of the consortium of the optimal process in order to design a final prototype that allows the valorisation of polyamide waste derived from infusion processes for its application in additive manufacturing.