Community Waste Plastic Recycling System Through Plastic Injection Molding
To advance the development of Me.reka’s injection moulding, this study aims to design and manufacture a mould that produces good quality product that adhere to dimensional accuracy and surface smoothness, using recycled plastic waste. With optimum operating condition, increased plastic recycling will lead to reduced environmental pollution.
Currently, Me.reka utilizes Type 2 and Type 5 plastic for injection moulding. The optimum injection mould temperature for recycled plastic and sprue diameter to produce good quality product was found experimentally. Mould design consideration was done using Solidworks software, and the design was partly outsourced and self-manufactured. The mould was tested by producing flowerpot and the optimum mould temperature and sprue diameter was found to be 330 ℃ and 13 mm. With this knowledge, the cost of injection moulding can be reduced due to reduced defective moulded parts, plastic resource wastage, and increased operating efficiency. Next, literature review and research were done on plastic waste separation technique, plastic properties testing for injection moulding, and ventilation system. Manual plastic sorting was found to be the best for Me.reka, where it can separate all 7 types of plastic with highest accuracy and efficiency, with lowest cost. The melt flow rate of specific plastic type can be used to determine its compatibility to the injection moulding machine. This study found the best ventilation system type for Me.reka makerspace lab based on the location of injection moulding, which is displacement ventilation. It is expected that with the installation of an efficient ventilation system at Me.reka makerspace, the hazardous gasses remaining in the lab will be reduced and the health of workers at lab improved. Hence, an entire system to recycle waste plastic was investigated and proposed with the intention that it will contribute towards the recycling of waste plastic to reduce environmental pollution.