APK is fully committed to closing material cycles for different types of packaging solutions with the help of innovative recycling technologies. Shortly before Easter on 12 April the company completed its new laboratory at its production site in Merseburg (Germany). Initially, the facility will focus on LDPE- and polyamide-recyclates, which are destined to be used in packaging applications. APK AG has invested over one million euro in the comprehensive equipment.
‘To make the use of plastic recyclates in packaging a viable option and by this to close cycles for real, a considerable set of quality criteria needs to be met,’ says Klaus Wohnig, CEO APK AG. ‘We need ambitious quality assurance as well as dedicated investments into research and development’.
With its state-of-the-art laboratory and wide-ranging in-house testing capacities APK AG is uniquely positioned within the recycling industry. The research and development (R&D) team of APK surrounding Dr. Jürgen Flesch, Chief Technology Officer, and Hagen Hanel, Director R&D, will drive the development of process technology of plastics recycling, as well as the conception of new – solvent-based – recycling facilities and the valorization of different plastic input streams. ‘Creating plastic recyclates with near-virgin-qualities is our declared goal,‘ explains Dr. Flesch.
Project partners of APK will benefit from the ample testing options in the future. Mechanical test values as well as optical, physical and rheological properties can be examined in-house from now on. Corresponding service packages will be available to interested companies from the packaging and plastics value chain in the near future.
The laboratory features the following testing equipment: Melt-Flow-Indexer, Differential Scanning Calorimetry analysis (DSC), Universal Tensile Testing Machine, Pendulum Impact Tester, Injection Molding Machine, heatable Microcentrifuges, IR-Microscope, IR-Spectrometer, High-Temperature Size Exclusion Chromatography (HT-SEC), as well as a Spectral Photometer for color testing.
Testing will be conducted according to existing norms such as the DIN EN ISO 527-1 for the testing of tensile properties of plastics. Furthermore, the APK team has gained comprehensive experience in the development of methods and criteria as not all process- and product-specific tests are backed by ISO and EN norms yet.
High quality recycling of plastics plays a key role in the recently published EU Green Deal of the European Commission as well as in the corresponding new Circular Economy Action Plan. With its ambitious investment into the new analytic facility APK reinforces its dedication to closing material cycles for all kinds of plastics and applications.