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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_0906

Applications Green

Applications Green Nordic Walking – with Biobased Polyamide www.esb-sport.de www.mpp-austria.at www.dupont.com The first commercial, injection-molded use of renewablysourced DuPont Zytel ® RS polyamide in Europe is for the hand grip, tip, cap and inter-locking elements of the new ‘Exel NW ECO Trainer’ Nordic walking stick from EXEL Sports Brands (ESB), Stephanskirchen, Germany. The unreinforced polyamide 610 is produced using sebacic acid extracted from castor oil plants. The renewably-sourced content of unreinforced Zytel RS is 58 % by wt. This was a crucial factor in the sports equipment manufacturer decision to not only base its production in Europe, but to also launch its own competence model made in the material. “Both sustainability and the responsible handling of resources are strongly encouraged within our company. This includes the use of products with a reduced environmental footprint products offering the best levels of performance based on high quality standards. Accordingly, innovative products developments, such as Zytel RS from DuPont, fit perfectly into our corporate strategy,” states Richard Holzner, product manager at ESB for the Exel walking sticks. “All the components are solvent- and toxin-free. Thus, we are able to guarantee that our customers receive environmentallyfriendly products offering the best performance according to European quality standards.” For the hand grip, a cork or wooden shell can be used on top of the Zytel RS, enhancing its feel for the user. Carbide is overmolded with Zytel RS for the tip. Beyond its very good surface finish, the long chain polyamide 610 offers excellent chemical resistance, low moisture absorption and temperature resistance between -40°C and 50° C. The parts were designed and manufactured by Metall und Plastikwaren Putz GmbH (MPP) of Abtenau in Austria. “The processability of unreinforced Zytel RS is similar to that of polyamide 66. The material is also easy to color,” reports Georg Putz, managing director of MPP. “The only differences were an approximately 40°C lower melt temperature and minor variations in shrinkage behavior. The technical support provided by the polymer distributor Biesterfeld-Interowa was very helpful during the transition.” Following its launch at the relevant sporting goods trade shows such as the ispo winter 2010, the ‘Exel NW ECO Trainer’ will be available to consumers from specialist sports shops from spring 2010. The DuPont portfolio of engineering polymers includes a series of products based on renewable resources. They are either entirely or partially produced using agriculturally-sourced raw materials such as corn or castor-oil beans instead of crude oil, thereby helping reduce the industry’s dependence on increasingly limited crude oil reserves. - MT 32 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/09] Vol. 4

Applications A Magic Powder in a PLA Powderette by Rainer Bittermann, IFA-Tulln www.blue-elph.com www.ifa-tulln.ac.at In Austria a new product was launched in October based on an aromatic powder which puts the consumer in a state of ‘relaxed alertness’, according to Rouven Haas the inventor of Blue Elph ® . It is an absolutely new and innovative edible leisure product - just unwrap the Powderette, tap the capsule, and suck in the powder - but whatever does it have to do with bioplastics? OK, the powder consists exclusively of harmless, edible substances and the capsule is made of gelatine, but the Powderette is made from NatureWorks PLA and additives from Sukano and Polyone. The development started in 2005 together with the Institute of Natural Materials Technology at the University Research Institute at Tulln (IFA-Tulln) in Austria. After screening various bioplastics for injection moulding, PLA was selected because of its high transparency and excellent mechanical properties. The product design and recipe development took a long time but ended with a perfect shape and excellent processability. During the project the properties of PLA in the injection moulding process were investigated. The high flowability, transparency and rigidity allowed the adoption of a special design that could not be easily realised using standard polymers. The high variation in wall thickness and the sharp point necessary for piercing the powder-filled capsule should also be noted here. Thanks to different additives the ejection and constant colour at a constant transparency level could also be achieved in the end. The next step will be the construction of a 32-cavity tool to reach the planned output (300,000 for the next 6 months). For the launch and rapid penetration into the market over 600 people – including press, partners, friends and celebrities - were invited to the launch party in the ‘Skykitchen‘ club, up above the rooftops of Vienna, to experience the world of Blue Elph. The novelty of Blue Elph is not so much its effect as the way of ingesting it, and the associated benefits. The powder in the capsule is sucked into the mouth using the patented Powderette and acts directly over the oral mucosa. Caffeine and guarana immediately awaken and sharpen the senses, L-Phenylalanin has the effect of lifting the mood and passion flower is relaxing. Because of the absorption of Blue Elph via the oral mucosa the active substances enter the body faster and more directly. The concentration of these substances is up to 10 times lower than in products that can be drunk or eaten, and so are harmless to the body. The inventor Rouven Haas first had the idea for the product eleven years ago. At that time he asked himself why he didn‘t stop smoking. To cut out such a habit without finding a substitute is very hard, and with smoking in particular a very personal need is satisfied. This was the moment of birth. He wanted to create a harmless substitute that combines the fascination and feel of a cigarette with a stimulating effect as well as an extraordinary taste. bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/09] Vol. 4 33

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