Blog – Coolrec and Refil launch HIPS 3D printer filament constituted of recycled fridges

October 17, 2018 | From Grijs

Coolrec, a subsidiary of international waste recycling company Renewi, is working with Refil to bring HIPS (High Impact PolyStyrene Plastic), a high-quality, soluble 3D printing filament made from plastic from old refrigerators.

HIPS 3D printer filament is a synthetic copolymer that is strong, durable, non-toxic and recyclable. Often used as a backing material, HIPS can be dissolved in d-limonene so your print is free of marks caused by removing the backing. HIPS is neutral in color and easy to paint or glue. It’s slightly lighter than ABS, making it a good choice for parts that can benefit from lower weight, such as toys, appliances, product packaging, and cases.

Coolrec specializes in the recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment into high-quality plastics, metals and other secondary raw materials. The recycling process is carried out at Coolrec’s plant in Dordrecht, the Netherlands, where the recycler has a specially equipped processing line for large household appliances. According to a press release, Coolrec is also optimizing the HIPS filament for 3D printing by avoiding warpage and shrinkage.

After the first recycling of PET, ABS and PLA filaments, the Dutch company Refil is expanding its product range to include HIPS for the growing 3D printing market. From the beginning, your goal was to replace existing, environmentally harmful plastic filaments with an environmentally friendly product of the same caliber. The collaboration between Refil and Coolrec is a good example of two companies working together in the field of plastics recycling in their own specialty.

“While Coolrec is all about recycling electrical and electronic devices, Refil converts the plastics it purchases into 3D printing filaments and makes them available worldwide,” says Casper van der Meer, CEO of Refil. “Making recycled filament may seem easy, but maintaining a stable supply chain and maintaining high quality across batches is a real challenge. That is why it took us several years of development to ensure the quality of HIPS. We achieved this together with Coolrec. “

Arjen Wittekoek, Director of Coolrec: “Discarded devices are made from many valuable materials and still contain them. With innovative techniques, Coolrec can recover the plastics from the discarded refrigerators and reuse them in the manufacturing process of new products such as 3D printing filaments. For us, developing HIPS and working with Refil is another way of protecting the world from pollution, conserving limited resources and enabling our partners to achieve their sustainability goals. For this reason we are very proud to be involved in this circular collaboration. “

The HIPS filament is available in two standard diameters, 2.85 mm and 1.75 mm, and according to Refil and Coolrec it has been successfully tested on many 3D printers. To avoid waste, the filament is delivered on a unique, fully recyclable cardboard spool. The recycled HIPS filament from refrigerators costs 34 € / spool incl. VAT Refil and Coolrec are also working on a black filament made from the same type of plastic, but in this case from old televisions. It is expected to be available in early 2019.

Posted in 3D Printing Materials

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