The practice of recycling is reprocessing a material after its initial service life ends into a new product.
Reusing edge trim during manufacture and adding to virgin material. Salvaging edge trim and other scrap during manufacture results in the reduction of virgin material use and eliminates the transport of waste materials to landfills.
Common organic roofing materials that can be easily recycled are wood fiberboard insulation and perlite insulation. The biggest downside to recycling is the economics - it can be costly and there are no centralized recycling centers.
Characteristics of recyclable materials
- Ability to be easily reintroduced and processed into a new product
- Ease of separation from other additives and ingredients
- Easily accomplished with thermoplastic materials or organic materials
Why is this important?
Because thermoplastic materials are not molecularly cross-linked allowing them to be reformed with the introduction of heat and pressure. Thermoset materials, by contrast, cannot be easily reused once their molecules have cross-linked. That means that thermoset materials must be ground up into small particles and dispersed in a polymeric matrix to be recycled.|
What is thermoplastic material?
It is a material that does not undergo a molecular cross-linking and remains in a state that allows it to be fused and formed into alternative shapes and forms through the application of heat and pressure.
Examples of common thermoplastic roofing materials
- TPO, PVC and EPS
- XPS, Uncured EPDM and Asphalt
- Thermoset materials go through a process that results in cross-linking of molecules (also called "curing" or "vulcanization") that permanently sets the physical properties in the material. Examples of common thermoset roofing materials include EPDM and polyisocyanurate insulation.