CANON:HOW & WHY THEY RECYCLE PLASTICS

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CANON:HOW & WHY THEY RECYCLE PLASTICS

 user 2005-02-21 at 9:48:00 am Views: 60
  • #10418
    Developed to Promote the Use of Recycled
    Plastics

    Almost all the housing materials of office
    automation equipment are made of plastics. Canon began its project to develop
    recycling technology for the plastics of office automation equipment in
    1992.

    In general terms, collected plastic materials have dirt and
    deterioration, and the additional heat history to which they are subjected
    during the recycling process means that it is not easy to maintain recycled
    materials at a level of quality high enough for reuse in their original
    application. In particular, recycled plastics are avoided for use as exterior
    housing due to the unappealing appearance and the difficulty in meeting the
    strict requirements of applicable electric safety standards (UL).

    The
    sandwich molding technology was developed as a method of resolving this issue.
    This is the first technology in the world to allow use of recycled plastic for
    exterior housing.




    Part of Copying Machine Where Recycled Plastic Is Used
    Part of Copying Machine Where Recycled
    Plastic Is Used
    Exterior Power Box of Inkjet Printer Where Recycled Plastic Is Used
    Exterior Power Box of Inkjet Printer Where
    Recycled Plastic Is Used


    Using Recycled Plastics for Core
    Layers

    The main plastics employed by Canon for its
    products include PC+ABS alloy, PS, ABS and Noryl resins. In sandwich molding,
    the PC+ABS alloy resin that is used as a material in the housings of many of our
    products is recycled for reuse in copying machine housings.

    Following the
    processes of grinding/powdering, foreign matter removal and cleaning, PC/ABS
    resin separated from used products is generally kneaded with virgin stock
    compounds (sometimes special additives are added to recover physical properties)
    and reprocessed into pellets for reused as molding. However, Canon’s
    sandwich-molding method does not knead the resin with virgin plastic compounds;
    instead, it utilizes this resin for the core layers of molding after
    grinding/powdering, foreign matter removal and cleaning. These core layers are
    then sandwiched between virgin stock skin layers. This method solves the problem
    of physical appearance being ruined by the possible contamination of foreign
    objects and irregular color tones. In addition, we have successfully reduced
    recycling costs, because there is no need to count on materials suppliers.

    Additionally, while it was difficult to inject the core plastic compound
    uniformly into the thin layer, Canon has achived 30% of content of core being
    injected into 3.0mm of thickness.

    We have also completed development of a
    recycle grade material employing Noryl and HIPS resins retrieved from used Canon
    products, and have utilized it for various parts of office automation
    equipment.

    Example of Sandwich Molding MMP Sandwich Molding at Kobe Steel, Ltd.
    Example of Sandwich Molding (MMP
    Sandwich Molding at Kobe Steel, Ltd.)




    A special plate to inject recycled plastic flakes is
    installed at the original nozzle tip of an injection-molding machine. The
    injected flakes are then sandwiched between virgin stock skin layers from both
    sides so that they does not escape or overflow, but spread uniformly. Using
    conventional recycling methods, it was difficult to inject the core plastic
    compound uniformly into a thin-wall work piece. However, the Canon method has
    achieved a 30% content of core (recycled) materials at 3.0 mm
    thickness
    .




    Cross-Sectional View

    As shown above, ingenuities
    have been introduced in the mold geometry and injection conditions so that a
    large volume of core material can be injected consistently. Because the recycled
    material is sandwiched between the virgin materials, the problem of ruined
    physical appearance resulting from the contamination of foreign objects or
    irregular color tones is avoided.