Plastics with self-healing properties.
Innovation is also high on the agenda in the world of plastics. For instance, intensive efforts are being made to reuse plastics. Within the production of plastic pipes, we lead the way in the use of recycled plastics. However, not all plastics are suitable for recycling. It is therefore good to know that a lot of research is being done into ways of making hard-to-recycle plastic highly suitable.
For example, researchers are looking into how vitrimers (chemically reinforced plastics) can be reprocessed. When vitrimers are heated, the cross-links between polymers do not melt, but instead switch from one polymer strand to another. This allows the various polymers or composite materials to be better separated, which also makes recycling possible.