My company is launching a new product line and, while researching material options, the terms “virgin” and “regrind” keep popping up. What’s the difference between virgin and regrind material and how do I decide what’s best for my application?– Capt. P. Lanet
Dear Capt. P. Lanet:
Let’s begin with a quick lesson on the differences between regrind and virgin resin material.
Regrind, also referred to as reprocessed or utility, is any recaptured scrap resin resulting from the manufacturing process. For example, rejected parts and production scrap are two of the main sources of regrind. These leftovers are ground down to pellet size, mixed with virgin resin and extruded to make new material, or a layer of regrind plastic material may have a virgin cap applied to it.
Virgin material is made from resin that has never been processed before, meaning it has never been through the extrusion or molding process. The tables below compare some of the pros and cons of each material type, but the end use of your parts should determine your material selection.
|Costs less than virgin
|Lower cosmetic quality (i.e., color and thickness variations) and lower part strength|
|Optimizes material usage||Material shrink may vary slightly more than virgin material|
|Reduced demand on natural resources||Higher % of regrind usually results in a higher material scrap rate|
|Higher part quality and aesthetics||Higher cost than regrind
|Improved repeatability in the
|Sheet formulations may vary
between extruders, resulting in
the use of one supplier and their material cost
|Higher stability and strength of part||Specific resin availability
– Joslyn Manufacturing
Joslyn Manufacturing works with nearly every type of thermoforming plastic to find the best material for your project.
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