Fairlawn, Ohio — Ultrasonically aided extrusion can compound waste EPDM rubber with polypropylene, by devulcanizing the rubber to break the chemical bond, according to Avraam Isayev, professor emeritus of polymers at the University of Akron.
He discussed the technology — the subject of about 50 technical papers dating to Society of Plastics Engineers' Antec in 1987 — during SPE's TPE TopCon 2016 in Fairlawn.
Isayev won SPE's top honor, the International Award, at the 2014 Antec for his work.
At the TPE conference in Fairlawn, he said the process is a new way to make TPEs from PP and post-industrial EPDM, a material used for flat roofing, automotive seals and other applications. Ultrasonic processing has uses beyond rubber, including immiscible polymer blends and the dispersion of nanoclay, graphene and silica, Isayev said.