Recycling of polymeric fraction of cable waste by rotational moulding

Zaida Ortega, Mark Kearns, Mark McCourt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study focuses on the mechanical recycling of polymeric waste that is produced in considerable amount from the cable industry. Every year large amounts of cables become waste; wires recycling has traditionally focused on metal recovery, while the polymer cover has just been considered as a residue, being landfilled or incinerated. Nowadays, increasingly restrictive regulations and concern about environment make necessary to reduce landfilling as much as possible. Main novelty of the study is that the material used in the research is a post-consumer material and the entire residual material is used, without a previous purification, in contrast with similar studies. Characterization of this residue was performed by thermal analysis, showing that the material is mainly made up of a heavy fraction (84% of the residue), which is not able to melt, fact what makes recycling more difficult. Once characterized, the material was ground, blended with virgin polyethylene and reprocessed by rotational moulding. The influence of the amount of residue and parts structure (1, 2 and 3 layers) was assessed, studying the mechanical behaviour of obtained parts (tensile, flexural and impact properties). It has been found that although mechanical properties get reduced with the increased amount of residue, up to a 35% of residue can be used without an important decrease in mechanical properties. On the other hand, the use of multiple layers in the mouldings allowed obtaining a better external appearance without compromising the mechanical properties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-206
JournalWaste Management
Early online date12 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2018


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