[PUBLICATION] Recyclability of Opaque PET from High Speed Melt Spinning: Determination of the Structures and Properties of Filaments – polymers

Abstract: Recycling opaque Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which contains 1 to 10 wt % TiO2 submicron particles, has become of interest in the past few years. However, the bottle-to-fiber recyclability of opaque PET has not been assessed yet. In this work, opaque PET packaging has been characterized, and high-speed melt-spun filaments with different amounts of opaque PET (30–50–100%) blended with standard transparent recycled PET (rPET) have been produced in a pilot system. The opaque PET filaments produced have also been compared to a transparent rPET blend with masterbatch PET/TiO2 at different amounts of filler (1–3–6 wt %), produced with the same parameters. The structure-properties relationship of rPET melt-spun fibers has been investigated with crystallinity measurements, amorphous and crystalline phases orientation, and tenacity. It has been
observed that the degree of crystallinity, the crystalline and amorphous phases orientation and the tenacity decreases with opaque PET addition and, to a lesser extent, with TiO2 addition. It has been suggested that TiO2 particles are not entirely responsible for the decrease in mechanical properties of opaque PET filaments since opaque rPET filaments have inferior properties to r-PET/TiO2 filaments at the same filler content.

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