CSIRO has run a range of adhesive bonding tests on the SICOR process with good results.
Our engineers were aware of the SICOR process, which had been experimentally evaluated for adhesion, and judged it to be suitable for production.
The surface activation energy required from the flaming process for preparation of surfaces prior to the application of the SICOR fluid for a part that is to be painted is higher than that for a surface being prepared for adhesion.
Says Gomory, "Initially, I think CSIRO underestimated the robustness requirements needed for the SICOR process in an industrial environment, especially for painting.
Nonetheless, the SICOR process opens some intriguing new avenues, as it will allow for the possible use of lighter-weight and more easily recyclable plastics, processes that use fewer environmentally unfriendly chemicals, and both plastics and processes that are less expensive.
The SICOR process costs an estimated 8-10 times less to use than the plasma technology currently in use for painting and adhesion, and it's a continuous-flow process, capable of being used at conveyor speeds up to 300 m/min, so it can be easily incorporated into an existing process line (unlike plasma, which is a batch process operation).
SICOR might not have an immediate impact on recycling, says Sofman, but rather an incremental one.
Gutowski envisions SICOR being used across a broad range of possibilities, including medical apparatuses, construction and architectural materials, and the broadening of the range of useful substrates to include materials not used until now because of adherence problems, such as polyvinylidene fluoride (useful because of its resistance to acids, aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, combustion, and aging).
building products company to support a new line of building products using recycled polyethylene, and Venture Industries, one of the largest producers of motor vehicle components in the United States, is working with CSIRO to develop a fully commercial version of SICOR.