Oct 17, 2018 | By Grijs

Coolrec, a subsidiary of International waste recycling company Renewi, is partnering with Refil to launch HIPS (High Impact PolyStyrene plastic), a high quality, dissolvable 3D printing filament made from the plastics from old refrigerators.

HIPS 3D printer filament is a synthetic copolymer that is strong, durable, non-toxic and recyclable. HIPS is frequently used as support material, and can be dissolved in d-Limonene, leaving your print free of any markings caused by support removal. HIPS is neutral in colour and easy to paint or glue. It is slightly lighter than ABS, making it a great choice for parts that can benefit from the lighter weight, such as toys, appliances, product packaging and cases.

Coolrec is specialized in recycling of WEEE (Waste or Electrical and Electronic Equipment) into high-quality recovered plastics, metals and other secondary raw materials. The recycling process is carried out at Coolrec’s factory in Dordrecht, the Netherlands, where the recycler has a specially equipped processing line for large domestic appliances. According to a press release, Coolrec also optimise the HIPS filament for 3D printing by eliminating warping and shrinkage.

After their first recycled PET, ABS and PLA filament the Dutch company Refil is adding HIPS to their product overview for the growing 3D printing market. From the beginning, their goal has been to replace existing, environmentally destructive plastic filaments, by offering an environmentally friendly product of equal calibre. The collaboration between Refil and Coolrec is a good example of two companies on the fore front of plastic recycling working together in their own field of expertise.

“Whereas Coolrec is all about the recycling of electrical and electronic equipment, Refil transforms the acquired plastics into 3D printing filament and makes it available around the world," says Casper van der Meer, ceo Refil. “Making recycled filament may seem easy, but getting a steady supply chain and maintaining a high quality over different batches is a real challenge. This is why it took us several years of development to be able to guarantee the quality of HIPS.  Together with Coolrec we’ve managed to realise this.”

Arjen Wittekoek, Director of Coolrec: “Discarded appliances are made from and still contain many valuable materials. Using innovative techniques, Coolrec is able to recover the plastics from the discarded fridges and reuse it in the manufacturing process of new products, such as 3D printing filament. For us developing HIPS and the collaboration with Refil is another way to protect the world against pollution, preserve finite resources and enable our partners to achieve their sustainability targets. For this reason we are very proud to be involved in this circular collaboration.”

The HIPS filament comes in the two standard diameters of 2.85mm and 1.75mm and has successfully been tested on many 3D printers, according to Refil and Coolrec. To prevent waste, the filament will be delivered on a unique fully recyclable cardboard spool. The Recycled HIPS filament from refrigerators is priced at €34 / spool incl. VAT. Refil and Coolrec are also working on a black filament of the same kind of plastic but in this case made from old televisions. It’s expected to be available in the beginning of 2019.



Posted in 3D Printing Materials



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