Abdullah Alanesi
Abdullah Alanesi
Branch Unspecified
08 Feb 2017

Plastic identification by grade

I am a final year student and currently I have this idea of a machine that sorts different types of plastics depending on their grades. I was recently reading about spectroscopy techniques which in my opinion was the best way to identify plastics, however, these spectroscopy tools are pretty big and expensive, so my question is, is there a cheap way to implement any kind of sensor that can identify different plastics, or maybe any emitting and receiving system which can help support the idea?

Thanks in advance !
08 Feb 2017
I am afraid not. There are many grades even in one class of polymer say Polyethylene. There are too many polymers, blends and interpenetrating networks. Even any one polymer, say polypropylene can be made transparent, opaque, or mono or biaxially oriented. No optical or thermal or electrical sensor can differentiate between the thousands of versions available.
Abdullah Alanesi

Abdullah Alanesi

Branch Unspecified
08 Feb 2017
A.V.Ramani
I am afraid not. There are many grades even in one class of polymer say Polyethylene. There are too many polymers, blends and interpenetrating networks. Even any one polymer, say polypropylene can be made transparent, opaque, or mono or biaxially oriented. No optical or thermal or electrical sensor can differentiate between the thousands of versions available.
Thanks for your reply.
I see, from what I previously read, the spectroscopy techniques that they use can get the wavelength of the material scanned, thus they can employ this technique for pre-selected products that they know they'll deal with. What if i limit the sorting to 4 grades for example PET, HDPE, LDPE and PVC, is there a cheap way which I can get the wavelength of a material?
09 Feb 2017
These are IR wavelengths. I am not aware of any simple way to do this analysis.
Analysis

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