This project aims to evaluate the production of electrical conductive composites from the recycling of polyethylene-aluminum (PE-Al) films, from Tetra Pak packages, increasing their added value. These packages are composed by paper card (average of 75 wt.%), aluminum (average of 5 wt.%.) and low-density polyethylene, LDPE plus a low amount of copolymer with methacrylic acid, PEMAA (average of 20 wt.%). As the composite obtained by extrusion has conductive performance due to the high concentration of aluminum, we aim to further increase its electrical conductivity, using aluminum in synergy with different geometries of carbon fillers, expanded nanographite (nGE) and carbon black (CB). A technique that has been recently tested in our research group will be used to coat the micronized powder and flakes of PE-Al with nGE and CB. This technique consists of applying a high shear on solid state on the polymer and fillers and can be realized in a torque rheometer, a double screw extruder without die or in a thermokinetic mixer. After coating, powder and flakes will be pressed and have its electrical resistivity evaluated. The byproduct of PE-Al films granulated in extruder will be used to obtain composites with the same concentration of conductive fillers, to compare the results with the solid state shear coating technique. The materials developed will have their tensile and flexural mechanical properties evaluated and their morphology will be observed by scanning electrical microscopy (SEM).
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: