Toward Characterization of Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate with and without Epoxy Chain Extender
The purpose of this research is to determine if the loss of integrity due to high temperature processing of recycled PET found on campus can be counteracted or overcome by the addition of epoxy chain extender to the melt. Characterizations of the PET with and without the chain extender are to be determined via melt flow index (MFI), tensile testing, and rheometry. Molecular weight distributions are to be determined by dynamic light scattering (DLS) if the polymers can be dispersed in solution. An increase in viscosity, Young’s modulus, and storage modulus are expected. As a result, the overall integrity of the PET is expected to be maintained or increased with the addition of the chain extender. Further, the process is likely to be viable for upscale to processing using a larger twin screw extruder from which sustainable quantities of filament can be produced supporting the mission of the iMakerSpace on campus.