COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF RECYCLED PVC COMPOSITES REINFORCED WITH NONMETALS OF PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS

Q. SOHAIB, N. SOOMRO, M. HABIB, A. R. MEMON, U. TARIQ

Abstract


Resource recovery is an important aspect for environmental sustainability in a developed and developing economy. Poly vinyl chloride (PVC) is one of the most common and widely used construction material and its production process results in generating a great amount of waste. Luckily this waste can be recycled by combining it with other wastes such as Non-Metallic Fractions (NMF) of printed circuit boards (PCBs) which are usually land filled after the recovery of precious metals. This work has looked into the pulverization of NMF of PCBs from local scrap recyclers which were then utilized as reinforcing filler in waste and recycled PVC to make PCB-PVC composites. After the production of these composites the thermal stability, mechanical strength and fracture surface morphology of fabricated composites were investigated and compared among themselves to look for better composite composition. The obtained results revealed that using the NMF of paper fabric PCB slightly increased the thermal stability of PCB-PVC composites over its pure PVC composite counterpart.  The use of pure PVC resulted in total weight loss of 87.8% however the addition of 25 wt% NMF decreased the total weight loss of 83.5% at 600 0C. There was significant improvement in the mechanical properties (such as tensile strength and modulus, bending strength and modulus) by increasing the NMF %age to a certain limit and/or threshold value, which was recorded as 20 wt% NMF. The use of this threshold amount of NMF increased the tensile and bending strength by 10MPa and 7MPa respectively in comparison with the use of pure recycled PVC. Comparative increase in tensile and bending strength modulus was recorded as 0.7 GPa and 0.9 GPa at the identified threshold value. Further increase in NMF percentage resulted in a decrease in the mechanical strength properties.
This study suggested that adding the threshold amount of NMF of PCBs as reinforcing filler in the recycled PVC is a potentially effective way to improve the mechanical and thermal properties, simultaneously resulted in effective waste resource reutilization. This study form the basis for its extension to the utilization of other polymeric material which will lead to a promising way of recycling the NMF of PCBs and trashed polymeric material resulting a sustainable waste reduction and reuse.


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