Development of a Hot Press Prototype for Beverage Carton Composite Panel Processing for
Local Community Use
Wolawit Leelawan, Nuttee Thungsuk and Harittapak Apirat*
In this research, a hot press prototype has been developed for processing composite panels based on chopped beverage cartons and recycled polyethylene. Initially, the user-friendly hot press prototype was designed for use in the local community. It was found that the hot press can be used to manufacture multipurpose composite panels. After that, the composite panels at the various percentages of chopped cartons were investigated. It was found that the optimized processing condition varied depending on polymer matrix types. The processing condition of the recycled polyethylene panel was at 180oC for 45 minutes before being pressed at 2 bars. The heating time increased with an increasing percentage of chopped cartons. The maximum percentage of reinforcement was 25% by weight. The overall maximum tensile strength of the composite panels was slightly higher than the plain panels, but no significant differences over the wide range of reinforcement. The fracture behavior of the composite panel exhibited brittle behavior. The elongation at break tended to decrease with an increasing percentage of reinforcement. The composite with more than 5% reinforcement showed a slightly higher modulus than the plain panel. The produced composite panels could be used as multipurpose outdoor decoration panels for the local community.