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As it is in the recycling of any products, energy cost and sustainability are two major concerns that are constantly dealt with. Addressing such problems, we developed an index that ranks the recyclability of different aluminum alloys so that it is easier for designers to choose what alloys should be used to make their products more recyclable. The Earth, much like an island, only has a finite amount of resources, and in these current times is being consumed at continuously increasing rates, and not enough is being recycled. If industries begin designing their products with the end in mind, this including the materials used, the actual process of recycling would be made much more cost effective and environmentally friendly. However, designers do not have a standard index that describes aluminum alloys by how recyclable they are to aid in the practice of selecting alloys for industries. Through creating these indexes, we hope to reduce new aluminum being produced by transitioning towards a more recycle-orientated industry. There needs to be a change in mind set of industries to have a greater focus on sustainability rather than creating new alloys to up the competition, thus reducing the recycling capabilities of their products.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
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Great Problems Seminar
Gagnon, Kyle; Landi, Melissa; Mihal, David; and Mavilia, Sarah, "Aluminum Recyclability Index" (2011). Great Problems Seminar Posters (All Posters, All Years). 99.