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  • 1 School of Aerospace Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering RMIT University PO Box 71, Bundoora Victoria 3083 Australia
  • 2 Visy Technical Centre 23 Ash Road Prestons, NSW 2170 Australia
  • 3 Rheology and Materials Processing Centre RMIT University GPO Box 2476V Melbourne, Victoria 3001 Australia
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Abstract  

Recycled poly(ethylene terephthalate) (R-PET) was chain extended with pyromellitic dianhydride (PMDA) in a commercial size twin-screw reactive extrusion system. Temperature-modulated differential scanning calorimetry (TMDSC) was used to evaluate the effect of the chain extension process on the thermal transitions and crystallinity of R-PET. Reactive extruded recycled PET (RER-PET) samples were tested based on different PMDA concentration and reactive extrusion residence times. The glass transition temperature (Tg) did not show a significant change as a function of PMDA addition or the extrusion residence time. Melting temperature (Tm) and crystallisation temperature (Tc) decreased with increasing PMDA concentration and with increasing extrusion residence time. RER-PET samples showed double melting peaks, it is believed that different melting mechanism is the reason behind this phenomenon. The crystallinity of RER-PET samples is lower than that of R-PET. RER-PET samples at constant PMDA concentration showed a decrease in crystallinity with increasing extrusion residence time. Results suggest that the reactive extrusion process is more dependent on PMDA concentration rather than reactive extrusion process residence time.

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