Rotational moulding, a technology that boosts the recycling and the re-use of plastics

Every year, around 370 million tonnes of plastic are produced worldwide, of which 58 million tonnes correspond to Europe. These significant data make the development of effective strategies for the recycling, reuse and circular economy of these materials a priority.

Diseño sin título (3)Rotational moulding or rotomoulding is a plastic transformation technology that makes it possible to manufacture large complex parts for strategic sectors such as mobility, energy, industry, urban furniture, construction and medical equipment. However, the fact of using plastic as a raw material does not mean that this technology loses sight of the importance of preserving the natural environment.

In fact, rotomoulding has a smaller environmental impact than other manufacturing processes with which it competes - such as steel boilermaking or fibreglass - thanks to the recyclability of the materials and their lower carbon footprint.

It may be noted that rotational moulding allows for good environmental sustainability practices such as proper traceability of the materials used, appropriate separation of polymer families and the use of a reduced amount of additives.

Rotomoulding uses 100% recyclable thermoplastics. These are polymers that melt when heated, allowing them to be remoulded and reused in different applications. This differentiates rotational moulding from other systems that employ epoxy resins or thermoset polyesters which, once moulded, cannot be remoulded into a new shape and therefore cannot be reused and have a much more polluting life cycle.

Setting the rhythm of the circular economy in plastics

Recently, great strides have been made in the use of circular economy materials in rotational moulding. This technology generates products that are more resistant to corrosion and wear when they are exposed to adverse weather conditions, so that the manufactured pieces have greater durability and do not need additional treatments that can be polluting and difficult its recycling and reuse, such as, for example, painting.

If the appropriate measures for the management, classification and treatment of recycled plastics are developed, rotational moulding is a technique with a great capacity for the recovery of this raw material.

This technology is also a very suitable process for the manufacture of pieces of furniture, containers or signage, since the use of recycled plastics fulfils the technical requirements demanded. In addition, the low degradation of the plastics during the rotomoulding process means that the material remains of good quality after its first use, so that it can be reprocessed without any major loss of performance.

Taking all these elements into account, rotational moulding is not only an efficient and more economical technology than other systems currently used for the manufacture of large pieces, but it can also be a fundamental ally in the protection of the environment, as it is based on the use of easily recyclable and reusable plastics and has all the advantages to ensure the proper processing of the raw materials used once the life cycle of the products comes to an end.

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