Masters Theses


Sunil Suram


"The rate of plastic-waste disposal has increased manifold over the years, with changes in lifestyle and increased standards of living around the world. Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam, a kind of plastic, has played a very important role in packaging applications. It is estimated that 200 million pounds of styrofoam was produced in 1993 of which only 10% was recycled. EPS foam, poses a very difficult problem in terms of disposal, because it is a petroleum based product and hence non-biodegradable.

Most of the EPS foam wastes end up in landfills. Degradation of EPS foam can take several hundred years in the presence of sunlight and moisture. Lack of sunlight in landfills further prevents their degradation. Also, it cannot be burned because it releases toxic gases into the atmosphere.

Thus recycling EPS foam in an environmentally friendly manner poses a challenge. Researchers around the world have found various innovative solutions to this problem.

This work is focused on producing structural materials for use in low-structural applications, from EPS foam. A novel method has been developed for recycling the EPS foam. Methyl Soyate (MS) has been used to harden the surface while compressing the foam. Samples have been made with discarded foam materials used in packaging. For testing purposes commercial foam has been used. Mechanical and thermo-physical properties of the reformed product have been found. SEM image analysis has shown that a smoother surface results from the application of MS. Foam treated with MS has shown a 30% increase in impact energy over the untreated foam"--Abstract, page iii.


Flanigan, V. J.

Committee Member(s)

Chandrashekhara, K.
Kapila, Shubhender


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering


University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

Spring 2003


x, 51 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 48-50).


© 2003 Sunil Suram, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Waste products as building materials
Recycled products

Thesis Number

T 8200

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #


Link to Catalog Record

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