Additive manufacturing of recycled plastics: Strategies towards a more sustainable future

Wu, Haishang, Mehrabi, Hamid, Karagiannidis, Panagiotis and Naveed, Nida (2021) Additive manufacturing of recycled plastics: Strategies towards a more sustainable future. Journal of Cleaner Production, 335. p. 130236. ISSN 0959-6526

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Materials recycling and additive manufacturing (AM) present challenges and great opportunities in plastic industries. The rapid developments in AM are transforming the manufacturing industry. Reducing CO2 emissions, saving cost, and escaping from landfill are the decisive factors in this transformation.

In this study, to mitigate any risk caused by production speed and scaling and accelerate shift towards a more localized recycling and manufacturing of plastic parts and components, a collection-recycling-manufacturing (CRM) model is built to envision the evaluation of process flow as well as process integration.

The novelty of the CRM model enables optimization between recycling facilities and transportation distance calculation. It further strengthens a seamless integration between recycling and AM processes and envisions the areas that need enhancements. The study reveals that AM creates opportunities such as prototyping, customizing, transportation cost reduction, and creation of jobs in rural areas, which may stop unnecessary immigration; and, most importantly, reducing CO2 emissions and plastic waste despite challenges such as skills requirement and disadvantages in speed and scale production.

With a combination of recycling and AM, sustainable manufacturing can be achieved effectively, although several conditions must be met and obstacles must be overcome. A few innovations are further proposed in this study to streamline the transformation and to support the “cradle-to-cradle’’ approach towards “zero waste” for a sustainable future.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Technology > School of Engineering
Depositing User: Leah Maughan
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2022 10:10
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2022 16:32
ORCID for Hamid Mehrabi: ORCID iD
ORCID for Panagiotis Karagiannidis: ORCID iD
ORCID for Nida Naveed: ORCID iD

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