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Unformatted text preview: Journal of Metals, Materials and Minerals, Vol.19 No.1 pp.81-88, 2009. Recycling of Medical Gown Nonwoven Fabric Manufacturing Waste as a Filler for High Density Polyethylene Pattaraporn SINGSATIT and Vimolwan PIMPAN * Department of Materials Science, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand Abstract The objective of this research is to recycle nonwoven fabric waste from medical gown manufacturing process by using as a filler in highdensity polyethylene (HDPE). Before nonwoven fabric waste was mixed with HDPE, this fabric waste was treated with 5, 10 and 15 %w/w of the fabric waste using the treatment time of 2, 3 and 4 hours. The chemical structure of treated fabric waste was confirmed by FT-IR spectroscopy while scanning electron microscopy was used to investigate its surface morphology. The samples were prepared by compression molding using the amount of fabric waste at 5, 10, 15, and 20 %w/w, respectively. After mechanical tests were employed, it was found that the fabric waste content, the amount of maleic anhydride and the treatment time affected the mechanical properties of filled HDPE. Each property was improved when different conditions were used. However, these properties especially impact strength of HDPE filled with modified fabric waste were better than HDPE filled with unmodified one. Key words: Acid treatment, Maleic anhydride, Nonwoven fabric, High-density polyethylene, Recycle Introduction Nowadays, the consumption of synthetic polymers have increased rapidly. This is because these materials have many advantageous properties over other materials including glass, metals, ceramics and woods. For example, they are light- weight, resistant to chemicals and environmental atmosphere. Furthermore, they can be easily processed into desired products by many methods. Therefore, they are used in various applications such as textiles, packaging, automobile parts, etc. It has been known that the waste management for manufacturing wastes and post-consumer products made from these synthetic polymers have dealt with some difficulties. Burning of these wastes and products may result in releasing dangerous gases to the atmosphere while burying them in soil cannot destroy the products because they are slowly biodegradable. Therefore, alternative methods to reduce these wastes and products have been developed. One commonly used method is to recycle these manufacturing wastes and post-consumer products. Recycling can be divided into two types: chemical recycling and physical recycling. The principle of chemical recycling is to convert high molecular weight polymers into low molecular weight substances via chemical reactions. The obtained substances can be used as the reactants for preparations of other chemicals and polymers....
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