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Quality check for recycled plastics: Interseroh+ centre of competence awarded further accreditation

Plastics recycling +++ Interseroh+ enhances its technical equipment for the analysis and development of requirements-based plastic recyclates +++ Testing procedure with added value for environmentally-aware manufacturers of consumer goods +++ New: analysis of the flammability of plastics in electronic devices

Cologne/Maribor. Expertise which is signed and sealed: at the end of 2021, the Interseroh+ centre of competence for plastics recycling was awarded with accreditation for five further testing methods, including the sought-after UL94 method for determining the combustion speed of plastics. It has now been officially approved for the completion of some 14 analytical procedures. The laboratory in Maribor, Slovenia, can therefore respond to the requirements of many industrial companies. For example, how safe is the use of recycled plastics in electronic devices such as television sets or washing machines? What are the material characteristics of the recyclates in terms of their melting point or flammability? These are questions to which the experts at Interseroh+ can provide reliable answers.

As the only recognised research facility in the EU to specialise in the development and analysis of recycled plastics, the centre of competence has now held the international accreditation according to laboratory standard EN/ISO 17025 since March 2020. “We want to provide our customers with recycling raw materials that fulfil the requirements of both the EU legislation and of environmentally-aware consumers,” explains Markus Müller-Drexel, Chairman of the Management Board of Interseroh+ GmbH. “We are therefore making targeted investments in research, development and testing procedures.”

The newly-introduced flammability analysis, which only a few laboratories are authorised to offer worldwide, promises important insights for industry. Plastic components in electrical appliances such as television sets or washing machines often come into contact with electricity – which may mean there is a risk of them catching fire. In the field of construction, material stability against combustion is also an important criterion concerning the use of certain plastics. “Increasing numbers of manufacturers are looking into switching to suitable recycled materials,” explains Dr Manica Ulcnik-Krump, Managing Director of Interseroh’s research and development company. “With our enhanced process, we have further expanded our range of services for development and analysis in the area of plastic recyclates. Our accreditation provides renewed confirmation of the technical know-how of our centre of competence and strengthens the confidence in the market.”

In addition to the flammability testing, the centre of competence has also been awarded approval for the analysis of other physical and chemical characteristics of plastics. Among others, this includes the overall thermal analysis of the materials (consisting of differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis), which, in addition to evaluating the content of various polymers and inorganic fillers, also allows for the determination of the polymer types. This is joined by the possibility to determine the internal water content to allow for efficient material processing.

As a recognised specialist for recycled raw materials, Interseroh+ supports its customers with the procurement and use of appropriate plastic recyclates. The in-house centre of competence has state-of-the-art technical equipment for the assessment of the material quality – from mechanical, thermal and rheological characteristics through to the sensor technology and colour. Machines are also available for the material processing, and an NIR separator is available for simulating the behaviour of the packaging during the sorting process. From the development of customised recycled plastics from post-consumer materials (PCR) and post-industrial waste sources (PIR), through to compliance with legal requirements (both REACH and EU directives): with the advice and the services available at the Interseroh+ centre of competence, companies stay on the safe side.

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About Interzero:

Interzero is one of the leading service providers in the field of closing product, material and logistics loops as well as innovation leader in plastics recycling with the largest sorting capacity in Europe. Under the guiding principle of “zero waste solutions”, the company supports over 50,000 customers throughout Europe on the responsible handling of recyclable materials, thus helping them to improve their own sustainability balance and conserve primary resources. With about 2,000 employees, the company achieves a turnover of over one billion euros (2021). According to Fraunhofer UMSICHT, Interzero’s recycling activities will save one million tonnes of greenhouse gases compared to primary production and more than 12.5 million tonnes of primary raw materials in 2021 alone. Further information can be found at www.interzero.com.

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