Matrix Tool Introduction:

One of the hindrances of using recyclate is the challenge of finding suitable recyclate grades for specific products. The correlation between product/process requirements is difficult to make, and in most cases, field studies need to be carried out to validate the material selection. In this perspective, Matrix tool helps to find suitable recyclate (recycled plastic material or rPM) for converters or producers who want to replace virgin plastics. Furthermore, recyclate suppliers or traders can use this tool to sell their materials more efficiently.

Advantages of the Matrix Tool:

Type of Tool:

Web application

Required Skills and data:

- Basic knowledge of material properties

- Material properties of currently used virgin materials


The Di-Plast project team is not responsible for the consequences of the incorrect application of the content.

Tool Guideline and Access

- Before you get started, take a look at the guidelines(info) and make yourself familiar with the functionalities.

- To access the tool you will need an account. If you are interested in using the tool contact the admin who will create an account for you. After that, you can access the tool directly via this link using your account details.

- You can also download the tool source via GitHub.

Your contact for the Matrix tool:

Martine Bonnema

Detailed Tool Description:

European Commission has the goal of reaching a circular economy and plastics have a crucial role in reaching this goal. Plastics are used in many sectors such as packaging, building and construction, textiles, consumer products, transportation, electrical and electronics, and so on. Thus it is important to close the plastic loop to reach a sustainable and resource-efficient economy. One of the ways of achieving this goal is to use recyclate (recycled plastic) as an alternative to virgin material for new plastic products. Although there is a high demand for recyclate material in the market, a very small amount of products is made from recyclate. This indicates the presence of some challenges in the uptake of the recyclate. Therefore, the main goal of the Interreg Di-Plast Project was to increase the uptake of recyclate among the companies. The Matrix tool was developed for this purpose. Details about the Di-Plast Project can be found at Di-Plast Website

Working Mechanism:

Recyclate Supplies: This section contains the database of the existing recyclates. Converters can choose the material specifications (polymer type, process technology, properties, etc.) they want to see by clicking on the "column" tab. When they fill in the values or specify the ranges for those specifications, the tool will search the current recyclate supply for exact matches. If no exact matches exist in the current database, it will use an algorithm to recommend alternative recyclates which do not exactly match the filled-in specifications. In addition, suppliers can add information about a new recyclate by clicking on the "create recyclate" tab.

Recyclate Request: This section shows the current demand for recyclate batches with a specified set of properties that have not been resolved yet. Suppliers can use this information to modify their materials according to these specifications.

Explanation of Material Specifications: 

Polymer Type: This describes the main type of polymer present in the material. Some common types of polymers are:

- PE (Polyethylene)

- PP (Polypropylene)

- PS (Polystyrene)

- PA 6 (Polyamide 6)

- PA 6.6 (Polyamide 6.6)

- PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

- PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)

Process Technology: This indicates the technology used in converting raw materials into semi-finished or finished products such as buckets, automobile parts, crates, tanks, pipes, bottles, etc. Some typical process technologies are:

- Injection Molding

- Blow Molding

- Rotational Molding

- Blown Film

- Cast Film

- Thermoforming

- Extrusion

Melt Flow Index: It indicates the fluidity of the molten polymer. This property is important for the prediction of processing behavior and material selection. The MFI could be seen as a measured viscosity at a single temperature and shear rate. It is often measured at a specified temperature and weight. However, since the viscosity of polymers is shear-dependent, the MFI could also be measured at multiple weights (shear rates).

Impact Strength: It denotes the energy needed for fracturing material. The greater the value, the more resistant the material is to break upon impact. It can be measured via Charpy or Izod methods. Samples could be measured notched or unnotched. Notched values are lower than unnotched values due to the limitation of energy dissipation throughout the sample. Furthermore, the impact strength can be measured at different temperatures to predict impact behavior in different environments.

E-Modulus: It denotes the stiffness of a material in the tensile direction. For blown films, it is measured in the machine direction and transverse direction.

Flexural Modulus: It denotes the stiffness of a material in the flexural direction.

Strain at Yield: It denotes the strain (percentage of elongation) of the material at its maximum elastic point. Deformation of a product lower than this value is of elastic nature, meaning the material can return to its original shape. Deformation greater than this value is of viscous nature, meaning the material is permanently deformed. For blown films, it is measured in the machine direction and transverse direction.

Strength at Yield: It is the applied stress at yield strain. This value is the maximum stress a material can handle before it yields. For blown films, it is measured in the machine direction and transverse direction.

Strain at Break: It denotes the strain (percentage of elongation) of the material at its breaking point. The strain at break gives information about the ductility of a material. For blown films, it is measured in the machine direction and transverse direction.

Vicat Softening Temperature: It denotes the temperature at which the material softens.

Heat Deflection Temperature: It is a measure of a polymer's resistance to alteration under a given load at an elevated temperature.

Use Case/Problem:

Do you face problems in finding the right recyclate for your virgin material or are you looking to increase the publicity of your recyclate? In this case, the Matrix tool is the perfect candidate for you. Over the years the tool has been used by several companies (both converter and supplier). Some of the use cases of the Matrix tool are as follows:

-One converter wanted to use recyclate HDPE instead of virgin HDPE in their product. In the beginning, the virgin material properties were determined through tests. Those properties were put into the Matrix tool. After that, the tool provided a ranking of the potential PE or PE/PP recyclates using the database from the "recyclate supplies" section. From the ranking, 3 recyclates were chosen and the suppliers were contacted. The recyclates were ordered and tested for verification of their properties. After the tests, one out of the three recyclates was recommended for their product.

-One supplier sells polyolefin recyclates. They can see the demand in the "recyclate requests" section of the Matrix tool. In addition, they can see the overview of the producer requests using the filters. This in turn also helps them to optimize their recyclates according to the demand.

Related Tools:

We recommend also taking a look at the following Di-Plast tools below:

- Analyze and visualize your process data with data analytics -> Data Analytics

- Get guidance to set up a working data infrastucture -> Data Infrastructure Wiki

- Find the right sensor to survey your process -> Sensor Tool

- Improve internal information and material flow -> VSM