The importance of recycling polymer waste products from the construction industry has been long recognised. The problem lies in ensuring that different types of plastic are not mixed together.
Identification is usually done by illuminating the material with a laser and then analysing its spectroscopic signature. Unfortunately this method tends to cause the black plastics common to the construction industry, to ignite. Some new technology from SpectraCode uses a technique called distributed focusing combined with their RP-1 analysis system, to test black plastic samples at full laser power with no burning.
The SpectraCode device can be used as a hand held, point and shoot device or combined with an automated system to identify plastic components, fibres, and scraps at rates of more than 100 pieces per second, or 500 tons per day.