Potential of distributed recycling from hybrid manufacturing of 3-D printing and injection molding of stamp sand and acrylonitrile styrene acrylate waste composite
Sustainable Materials and Technologies
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In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, over 500 million tons of copper rich rock were removed from mines and treated in chemical baths to extract copper. Toxic substances have been seeping into the watersheds from the resultant waste stamp sands. Recent work on developing a circular economy using recycled plastic for distributed manufacturing technologies has proven promising, and this study investigates the potential to use this approach to form stamp sand and acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA) composites. Specifically, this study found the maximum amount of stamp sand that was able to be added to waste ASA by mass with a single auger recyclebot system for compounding was below 40%. The mechanical properties of the composite were evaluated up to 40%, and the addition of stamp sand reduced the material's ultimate tensile strength by about half compared to the strength of raw recycled ASA, regardless of the percent stamp sand in the composite. However, this strength reduction plateaus and the tensile strength of the ASA and stamp sand composites can be compared favorably with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) at any level. This makes waste ASA- stamp sand composites potential replacements for outdoor applications of ABS as well as some current ASA applications. These results are promising and call for future work to evaluate the technical, economic and environmental potential for waste ASA - stamp sand composites.