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02 | 2008

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  • Automotive
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Editorial dear readers Natural fibres or bio-fibres have been used in the automotive industry (but not only the automotive industry) for many years. They are lightweight, cost effective and offer excellent mechanical and thermal properties. The fact that this aspect is nothing really new, and the fact that they are in most cases combined with conventional, fossil-based plastics such as polypropylene, made us hesitate about including biofibres within the scope of our magazine. However the initial successes in attempting to combine such natural fibres with bioplastics as the matrix resin convinced us that they belong in bioplastics MAGAZINE. In addition to a rather basic introduction to natural fibre composites, in this issue we publish some interesting research results on natural fibre biocomposites. And we also jump back about 50 years, when engineers in former socialist East Germany (DDR) were making made great advances in the production of cotton fibre reinforced exterior car body parts. Some of these ‘Trabis’ (see cover photo) are still running on the streets today. Other topics in this issue include more news from bioplastics applications in the automotive industry, which is happening now in a big way in Japan. We are looking forward with interest to auto manufacturers in Europe, USA and other countries telling us about their experiences and future plans with regard to bioplastics. More and more companies are talking about LCA. The first results and reports are now being published. We are also starting to take a closer look at this subject – from a more general point of view as well as publishing specific reports from individual companies. Our ‘Logos’ series features the first article on logos for ‘biobased’ plastics rather than compostable plastics which were covered in the last two years. We hope you enjoy reading this issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE Yours, Michael Thielen Publisher bioplastics MAGAZINE Vol. 3 ISSN 1862-5258 Improving heat resistance of PLA | 21 Situation in Australia | 34 LCA | 28, 36 02 | 2008 Special editorial focus: Automotive Applications Natural Fibres bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/08] Vol. 3

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