By Dr. Rashed Islam
Plastics are a versatile class of materials which can be found in products ranging from single-use packaging to components used in automotive and durable goods. Unfortunately, plastics are also identified as an environmental pollutant due to inadequate recycling rates and poor end-of-life waste management. One of Google Hardware’s (HW) sustainability goals is to implement post-consumer recycle (PCR) materials in all HW products. According to the EPA, recycled plastics account for far less environmental impact than their virgin counterparts. Studies suggest recycled plastics contain over 25% fewer greenhouse/carbon gas emissions than virgin resins.
To meet the sustainability target, reliability studies were carried out to correlate the mechanical properties of PCR polycarbonates (PC) and corresponding system level reliability performance. In this presentation, we will show the effect of molding conditions, % PCR content, melt flow rate and various secondary processes on the mechanical properties of PCR along with a fractography analysis. Finally, we will try to answer the question “Can Recycled Plastics be used in consumer hardware?” Although there are many factors associated with completely answering this question, the factor which we will be evaluating in this presentation is “Strength”.