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Keywords:

  • modification;
  • nanoparticles;
  • recycling;
  • rubber;
  • toughness

Abstract

The properties of recycled acrylonitrile–butadiene–styrene copolymer (rABS) resin deteriorate because of the aging of the acrylonitrile–butadiene–styrene copolymer (ABS) resin during its lifetime; the impact strength, especially, decreases sharply, and the material is commonly brittle. We studied the toughening of rABS by an elastomer and inorganic nanoparticles incorporated into rABS. The results show that the elastomer could restore toughness of the rABS, but it also caused a decrease in the rigidity (flexural modulus); meanwhile, inorganic nanoparticles enhanced the toughness of the rABS only in a limited range for the coalescence issues but also could increase the rigidity of the rABS. This was just the opposite to elastomer. So, we proposed the solution of using an elastomer/inorganic nanoparticle complex to strengthen and toughen rABS. With the incorporation of a 5–8 wt % powdered ABS grafted composition with a rubber content of 70 wt % (referred to as the ABS graft powder) and 2–3 wt % inorganic nanoparticles into rABS, a synergistic effect between elastomer and inorganic nanoparticles was found to significantly benefit the toughness and strength of the rABS resin at the same time, and effective reusability of the rABS was realized. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013