Currently are local area does not have any way of recycling polystyrene however it is possible to get it recycled by a number of companies. The Problem with polystyrene or eps is it is over 80% air so storage and transporting it in standard expanded form is not cost or environmentally effective so it has to be compacted to do so. The best for of consolidation is to melt it back down to a solid plastic which luckily happens at relatively low temperatures around 150-200deg. It is possible to buy commercial machines but not only are they expensive but they normally run on 3phase power.
My hope is to try and build a machine that can melt polystyrene effectively and efficiently while trying to keep the build costs down.
I’m not 100% sure if I should go the screw route or more of a piston style plunger style method or any other way for that mater.
if it was a screw I am thinking can be something very similar that is used for hard plastics which design is obviously well documented however it would have some sort of grinder above the hoper to brake it down to small peace’s before entering the screw.
Being so light I’m not to sure exactly how it will react
As it contains so much air I’m thinking the compaction screw could probably have quite a course thread so as to process the eps faster.
If anyone has any ideas they would like too add to this I would love to hear them.
I’m thinking of trying to 3d print a prototype screw however I have come a bit stuck at the first hurdle in that I cant figure how to draw the variable pitch thread in fusion360. if anyone has any tips on this I would love to hear them.