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Materials Biobased

Materials Biobased Engineering Castor beans Plastic DSM Engineering Plastics from Sittard, The Netherlands, has expanded further its Green Portfolio with the introduction of EcoPaXX, a bio-based, high performance engineering plastic. The new material, which is based on polyamide (PA) 410 (or PA 4.10), has been developed by DSM in recent years, and is now set to be commercialized. High performance Polyamide 410 is a ‘long-chain polyamide’. Thus EcoPaXX is a high-performance polyamide with excellent mechanical properties. It combines typical long-chain polyamide properties such as low moisture absorption with high melting point of 250°C (the highest of all bio-plastics) and high crystallization rate enabling short cycle times and thus high productivity. The material has excellent chemical and hydrolysis resistance, which makes it highly suitable for various demanding applications, for instance in the automotive and electrical markets. A good example is its very good resistance to salts, such as calcium chloride. Because of its low moisture absorption, EcoPaXX will also keep good strength and stiffness after conditioning. Zero carbon footprint Newly-introduced EcoPaXX is a green, bio-based material: The polyamide 4.10 consists of the ‘4‘-component (fossil oil based diaminobutane) and the ‘10‘-component (approximately 70% of the polymer) derived from castor oil as a renewable resource. Castor oil is a unique natural material and is obtained from the Ricinus Communis plant, which grows in tropical regions. It is grown in relatively poor soil conditions, and its production does not compete with the food-chain. As not all carbon of the castor beans (or even of the castor plants) is being used for making the building blocks of the PA 4.10 there is still a certain amount of carbon sequestered by the castor plant that is being used as an energy source for the PA production or as fertilizer. Thus EcoPaXX can be seen as to be 100 % carbon neutral from cradle to gate, as per DSM, which means that the carbon dioxide which is generated during the production process of the polymer, is fully compensated by the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed in the growth phase of the castor beans. According to Kees Tintel, project manager EcoPaXX “the carbon footprint of plastics is rapidly becoming a hot issue for Customers, therefore they really appreciate EcoPaXX being carbon neutral!” Market introduction phase “DSM Engineering Plastics is proud to have EcoPaXX, the ‘Green Performer’ , in a market introduction phase. Combining unique DSM knowledge with the skills of Mother Nature allows our Customers to benefit from a new step towards a more sustainable world” says Roelof Westerbeek, President of DSM Engineering Plastics. - MT Castor plants 26 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4

Materials Injection Moldable High Temperature Bioplastic Launched in March 2009 by Colombes (France) based Arkema, Rilsan ® HT for extrusion is the first flexible high-temperature thermoplastic to replace metal in high-temperature applications. Now, the company unveiled Rilsan HT injection resins. The Rilsan HT range is now the first complete polyphtalamide (PPA)-based product line suitable for all process technologies, ranging from extrusion to blow or injection molding. Rilsan HT resins are up to 70% bio-based (according to ASTM D6866-06, biobased carbon) and match the increasing environmental commitment of many industries. PPA-based injection resins in automotive applications have increasingly replaced metal parts as a way to optimize costs, reduce emissions and weight, improve fuel economy and extend car life. Until now, PPA-based injection resins were more difficult and costly to process when compared to aliphatic high-performance polyamides. According to Arkema, Rilsan HT is the only PPA-based injection resin that offers processing characteristics similar to those of aliphatic high-performance polyamides. With mold temperatures close to those of PA12 and PA11, it can be easily processed on standard injection-molding equipment using conventional water-cooled temperature control. Moreover, the material can be processed in injection molds designed for PA12 and PA11 thanks to similar mold shrinkage properties. Unlike conventional PPA-based resins, Rilsan HT has very low moisture uptake, which provides multiple benefits in manufacture and applications. Low moisture pickup means that the resin is easily stored and requires no supplemental steps before processing. Low moisture absorption makes the resin easy to process and handle, and imparts reliable uniformity to the finished parts’ properties, which avoids further downstream processing and limits waste. The finished parts exhibit excellent dimensional stability. Rilsan HT injection grades have exceptional ductility not found in typical semi-aromatic injection resins. Thus the resins deliver a designer-friendly balance of toughness, strength and elongation and reduce the risk of failures that can occur with brittle plastics, such as conventional PPAbased injection materials or PPS. Conductivity combined with ductility make it the first conductive PPA-based injection resin that perfectly balances high temperature resistance and excellent mechanical properties with conductivity – making it well suited for fuel system applications where conductivity is specifically required, as it is for example in the North American market. As stated by Arkema, this new PPA-based injection resin is the only one that can be easily spin-welded with aliphatic high performance polyamides, a completely new processing feature for this material group. This offers further component integration and addresses the enhanced safety and emission standards of pipe connections in fuel-conducting systems. Rilsan HT injection grades - glass-fiber reinforced or formulated for conductivity - are ideally suited for metal replacement in fuel system applications requiring low permeation, low swelling and high thermal resistance. And the suitability of the injection grade for quick-connectors and other temperature resistant parts extends to powertrain components including those integrated with Rilsan HT flexible tubing. Largely derived from renewable non-food-crop vegetable feedstock, the polyamide material is a durable high-temperature thermoplastic containing up to 70% renewable carbon. It offers a significant reduction in CO 2 emissions compared to conventional petroleum-based high-temperature plastics, a reduced dependence on oil resources and a perfect fit with the eco-design concepts of many vehicle manufacturers. bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4 27

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