Distinguishing between PA6 and PA66 has just become considerable less complicated with a new technology developed by Ludwigshafen, Germany-based trinamiX, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BASF.
The difference between the two polyamides is undetectable to the naked eye. In addition, because of their similar properties, they tend to be used interchangeably in numerous applications.
The real difficulty comes at the end of life, when they arrive at the sorting centres for recycling and are only able to be reliably distinguished through what Adrian Vogel, manager Sales and Business Development Spectroscopy Solutions at trinamiX, referred to as a ‘cumbersome analysis process’. This made sorting in many cases neither profitable nor feasible, he said.
Yet as the demand for unmixed polyamide recyclates grows, the need for reliably sorted recycled grades has also increased.
In response, trinamiX, has developed a new app that handily distinguishes between PA6 and PA66 in just seconds. The solution consists of a hardware device, intelligent data analysis and a mobile app and is available in a portable format for on-site analysis.
Moreover, the solution uses cloud-based data processing, which ensures continuous development and eliminating the need to replace hardware.
Already, the software can identify all common plastics - from polyolefins such as PE and PP, to PET and engineering plastics such as ABS.
TrinamiX points out that it is not just the recycling companies who benefit. Plastics processing companies using PA6 and PA66 in their products will now also be able to sort and separate PA6 and PA66 production rejects or waste. This will make their in-house recycling processes easier, and bringing a more efficient use of valuable resources within reach.