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Dear Joslyn: Virgin vs. Regrind Material

Dear Joslyn:

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: Regrind Polymers

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.

 

Regrind Material 

Pros  Cons 
Costs less than virgin
resin material
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 

 

Virgin Material 

Pros  Cons 
Higher part quality and aesthetics Higher cost than regrind
plastic material
Improved repeatability in the
production process
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
may fluctuate

 

– Joslyn Manufacturing

Joslyn Manufacturing works with nearly every type of thermoforming plastic to find the best material for your project.

Have a question for Dear Joslyn? Send your inquiry to bhardy@joslyn-mfg.com or use the hashtag #DearJoslyn.

Topics: Dear Joslyn, Regrind Material, Virgin Resin

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