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Fiber Applications crisp

Fiber Applications crisp since fabrics are fade resistant from both sunlight and repeated washings. The most unique attribute of Sorona, however, lies in the fact that this fiber is also an environmentally smart choice for textile and carpet markets. The performance of Sorona contributes to the overall sustainability since the performance keeps products look newer longer. Since one of the ingredients is made with renewable resources instead of petrochemicals, Sorona is 37% renewably sourced by weight. Energy savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions are added to the environmental benefits since the production requires 30% less energy and reduces CO 2 emissions 63% over nylon 6 on a pound for pound basis. Durability and performance also contribute to the sustainable aspects since products perform and look better, longer. CARPET The ‘Performance PLUS Environmental‘ story of Sorona continues in carpet fibers for both residential and commercial applications. In carpeting, it offers a unique combination of benefits that customers’ value. In addition to providing durability and crush resistance, carpets with Sorona are permanently, naturally stain resistance. Since the stain resistance is an inherent attribute of the fiber, it will never wash or wear off and therefore never has to be reapplied. Triexta, the new generic, also pertains to Sorona as a fiber for residential and commercial carpets. In test after test, carpets with Sorona outperformed both premium stain treated nylon and polyester carpet in both durability and stain resistance. And the energy equivalent of 1 gallon of gasoline is saved for approximately every 7 square yards (1 liter per 1.55 m²) of residential carpet. Leaders in the carpet industry state that Sorona is the newest innovation to positively impact the carpet industry in over 20 years. The benefits of Sorona in commercial carpet continue in green building design for commercial interiors. It’s permanent natural stain resistance and durability attributes delight both building residents and maintenance teams alike. Architects and designers appreciate the three ways that carpeting with Sorona can contribute to LEED’s points: 1) As a ‘Rapidly Renewable Material’ MR Credit 6; 2) as a ‘Regional Material’ MR Credit 5; and 3) ‘Low-Emitting Materials,’ IEQ Credit 3. The LEED program was established by the U. S. Green Building Council as guidelines for the design and construction industries. Sorona is evidence of the innovation that results from intersections – the intersection of biology, chemistry and polymer science as well as the intersection of performance and environmental benefits. 16 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4

Processing Twin-Screw Extruders for Biopolymer Compounding ENTEK Manufacturing, Inc., headquartered in Lebanon, Oregon, USA, the leading U.S. based manufacturer of twin-screw extruders and replacement wear parts, recently introduced customized twin-screw extruders specifically designed for bio-based compounding. At NPE in Chicago in June, ENTEK showed a specially outfitted E-MAX 27mm twin-screw extruder designed for processing bio-based blends. It includes two dry feeders and a liquid feeder for processing a combination of thermoplastics and a bioresin or starch material. The use of ENTEK twin-screw extruders for biopolymer processing is not new; in fact, the company’s machinery is currently being used by several processors worldwide in commercially successful bio-based applications. However, because of the ever-increasing number of biopolymer materials, additives and fillers being used in the industry, ENTEK has developed new machine configurations specifically designed for compounding materials in the following three areas: • Reactive bio-based materials (starch-based materials and plasticizers) • Bioresin materials (PLA, PHA, PSM, etc.) • Bio-based blends (Bioresins or Starches blended with Thermoplastics) “Our development lab has seen a real spike in the number of bio-based material and product trials,” said John Effmann, ENTEK Director of Sales and Marketing. “The experience we’ve gained from these trials, as well as our in-field bio experience, has helped us understand what’s needed to successfully compound the many types of biobased materials on the market.” ENTEK 27mm, 40mm, and 53mm twin-screw extruders are the most popular models for bio-based applications, but larger models such as the 73mm and 103mm machines are also in use for commercial applications. “Typically a customer will use our in-house development lab for material trials, then start with a 27mm or 40mm machine,” said Effmann. “Once the bio-based compound makes it to market, the customer ramps up for production by purchasing our larger machines,” he said. ENTEK was an early participant in biopolymer processing. Back in 2004, Australian customer Plantic, a pioneer in biopolymer compounding, successfully processed their patented packaging products on ENTEK machinery before the term ‘biopolymers’ was common in the industry. The first Plantic products got their start in the ENTEK lab in Lebanon, Oregon, and the two companies continue a strong business relationship today. While still a young industry, today biopolymers are a fastgrowing field. In 2008, bio-based material trials made up 36% of all trials run in ENTEK’s in-house development lab. Several new players have emerged in the industry in this area, and ENTEK is working with many of them. New materials of all types are arriving at the company weekly, and ENTEK welcomes the opportunity to lend its lab and processing expertise for the next breakthrough biopolymer application. bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4 17

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