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Application News

Application News Biocomposite canoe An all natural composite canoe designed and manufactured in the UK using flax fibre and a linseed oil based resin was be showcased at the recent Composites Europe trade show. The canoe has been built by Flaxland and is made from a flax fabric (Biotex Flax 4x4 Hopsack) supplied by Composites Evolution, Bridge Way, UK, and a UV cured bioresin (EcoComp UV-L) supplied by Sustainable Composites, Redruth, UK. It is constructed using a marine plywood and European pine frame that is covered using the Biotex flax material and then impregnated with the linseed based resin. Simon Cooper, owner of Flaxland, is a traditional boat builder with a strong interest in using all natural materials. “I became interested in the use of Flax as a sustainable crop for the production of oil and fibre to make a boat. I wanted to find new, novel, but natural materials, and in my search found the Biotex website” he explained. Flaxland trialled many flax fabrics and found that Biotex suited the needs of the project best. Owner, Simon Cooper felt that Biotex had good impregnation, wet out and very good tear strength which was equal to the synthetic materials allowing for a flexible yet strong canoe which could be been made without the use of a mould tool. Flaxland have made a total of seven prototypes so far, using both the Biotex Flax 4x4 Hopsack and Biotex 3H Satin weaves. The Hopsack version offers a resilient and durable canoe which has a net weight of just less than 12 kg and the Satin version gives a lighter weight option, at just 8 kg, for racing. The canoe is currently undergoing long term durability and water resistance tests and, according to Simon, has shown good results for over one year already. He is now looking to roll out the design to larger rowing boats. Designer headphones with PLA Advertised as the World’s first recyclable designer over-ear headphones the Noisezero 0+ Eco edition headphones were recently introduced. The headphones were developed by British-born and Hong Kong based Designer Michael Young, in collaboration with music technology brand EOps (New York and Hong Kong) and marketed through the Paris/France based online store Colette. The Noisezero 0+ Eco edition are made from stainless steel, aluminium and PLA, all of which are recyclable. The headphones feature 50mm titaniumcoated HD drivers with a neodymium iron-boron magnet for a great sound without unwanted vibration. The PLA ear chambers and sheep leather ear pads improve the sound quality and give a unique feeling of comfort. The headphones are compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod and come with a microphone and a three-button remote module to control playback and volume. “The majority of all hard plastic parts including the earcup chamber, the mic housing, the cable plug are made of PLA,” as Michael Young told bioplastics MAGAZINE. And asked for his motivation to use this material he added that PLA is “eco friendly as it‘s made from renewable resources, it’s recyclable and its biodegradeable compared to traditional plastics like ABS that is not eco friendly.” Concerning his future plans, Michael Young said that he would like to try to use bio plastics as much as he can, but it is a little limited. Michael: “If we accept changes it is fine, for example, colors are harder to control, but that is ok — it‘s just a change. Production access can also be limited but more manufacturers are prepared to spend time with the process to make it work.” So Michael Young is absolutely willing to proceed onwards. MT 40 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/12] Vol. 7

Application News New Cellulose Acetate for frames Mazzucchelli 1849, Castiglione Olona, Italy is a worldwide leader in the production and distribution of the plastic material traditionally used for the production of optical frames: Cellulose Acetate (CA). Mazzucchelli is the most important consumer of this polymer derived from Cellulose, derived from renewable sources widely present in nature. The process covers the treatment of two types of fibres: fibres from seeds (cotton) and fibres from wood (conifers and broadleaves). The company today is the most important manufacturer of Cellulose Acetate granules used in optical market and other industrial areas. Now Mazzucchelli introduced a new eco-friendly product: M49 ® , a new CA-material, for which an application of an International Patent has been filed. The new material is especially suited for the production of spectacle frames M49 is phthalate-free and is therefore compatible with other polymers, such as the polycarbonate or polymethylmetacrylate. Such plasticizers tend to migrate from CA into PC or PMMA resin of the glasses, making them hazy over time. Standard Acetate frame with Polycarbonate lenses, after the accelerated aging process M49 Acetate frame with Polycsrbonate lenses, after the accelerated aging process Biobiojoux Designer Lili Giacobino has launched her own business making jewellery out of kitchen cupboard staples such as flour, tapioca and chocolate. The 31year old entrepreneur turns the everyday items in our homes into individual, biodegradable and eco-friendly beauty accessories. From her tiny kitchen in Surbiton, UK, the Kingston University graduate creates eye catching earrings, bracelets and necklaces using food ingredients that are completely natural and skin friendly. Lili said: “I spent hours slaving over a hot stove – not to make tasty food but to create fantastic jewellery. People don’t believe me when I say I make earrings from potato flour – but I do. “I’m using ingredients that our mothers and grandmothers were familiar with. The jewellery is made from such simple ingredients that the end products are harmless to eat, good for your skin and look great when you wear them.” Lili’s creations are already proving popular among fashion conscious south Londoners thanks to her stall at the Greenwich Market on Fridays. One of Lili’s favourite ingredients is bio-glycerine which has been used for centuries in thousands of common items such as soap, desserts and cough mixture. Lili’s bio formula creates a bendy raw material which is also known under the expression ‘bioplastic’ which takes a week to set before it can be crafted into a piece of jewellery. Exsocial worker Lili is originally from Switzerland and moved to the UK in 2008 to study product and furniture design at Kingston University – MT The new material M49 has undergone exhaustive tests at specialized laboratories (OWS) and has been declared 100% biodegradable according to EN/ISO 14855. But M49 is also recyclable and can be re-worked with different technologies giving life to many other products. The natural derivation of M49 can also be ‘touched’ with a pleasant effect of ‘warm and silky’, which allows the user with a sense of luxury which can only come out from natural substances. The material can be manufactured with all Mazzucchelli technologies, and the working processes are the same as the traditional acetate sheet. It can be used in all the markets of fashion accessories, from frames to costume jewellery and design items. As far as the spectacle frames are concerned, M49 is compatible with all types of lenses. – MT bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/12] Vol. 7 41

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