FURI | Fall 2021

Sustainable Foam Engineering of Crosslinked Polyethylene (XLPE) Thermal Insulation Recycling

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Crosslink Polyethylene (XLPE) is a thermoset that degrades carbon dioxide (CO2) before reaching its melting point. Annually, 450 tons of XLPE end up on landfills from electrical cables in Arizona state. Therefore, the object is to create sustainable processes for recycling XLPE by understanding material properties and characterization. For example, one protocol disperses XLPE into a few polymer matrices (e.g., rigid polyurethane foam (RPU) or PE foam) after several processing steps from the XLPE chunks. The investigation includes testing and analyzing thermal, mechanical, and structural characterization to design sustainable methods for recycling XLPE and general thermoset materials.

Student researcher

Mohammed Bawareth

Manufacturing engineering

Hometown: Jeddah, Saudia Arabia

Graduation date: Fall 2023