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Keywords:

  • poly(vinyl chloride);
  • photochemistry;
  • recycling;
  • extrusion;
  • FTIR

Abstract

The structural changes and mechanical performance of virgin poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) bottle (VB) compounds blended with postconsumer PVC bottles collected from a specified factory (RB-F) and houses (RB-H), were examined before and after UV irradiation at 313-nm UV wavelength for different periods of time up to 28 days. The results indicated that, when exposed to UV light, the RB-F/VB blends containing greater conjugated double bonds with higher yellowness index appeared to exhibit better mechanical performance than that of the RB-H/VB blends. It was found that the amount of conjugated double bonds was not a linear function of the discoloration level of PVC compounds. Tensile strength of the VB compounds was not affected when incorporated with RB-F recyclate, but progressively decreased with increasing RB-H recyclate. An optimum concentration for RB recyclates to be added into the virgin compound was recommended for obtaining a maximum impact strength. Both tensile and impact strengths decreased with increasing UV exposure time, a severe degradation being obvious after a UV exposure time of 21 days. Hardness was not affected significantly by the addition of PVC recyclate, but increased with increasing UV exposure time. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 92: 84–94, 2004