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Application News New

Application News New biobased coated fabric CHOMARAT (Le Cheylard, France ) recently rolled out the world premiere of a new line of biobased coated fabric called OFLEX Bio-based, which is made from Gaïalene ® produced by ROQUETTE. For this product Chomarat, specializing in coated textiles, is using a specific flexible grade of Gaïalene to coat a textile material or foam. As developed, the coating lends itself readily to dyeing, is free of plasticizers, and is recyclable in the polyolefin stream. If offers numerous design options with a high level of performance. “The technical partnership with Roquette allowed us to develop an entire line of fabrics coated with kind of biobased TPOs (soft thermoplastic polyolefins) that are free of phthalates and PVCs. Thanks to their great flexibility and softness, our products offer a genuine alternative to coated PVCs and leathers. The soft touch and ease of dyeing open up new prospects in our traditional markets of leather products, luggage, telephony, sport & leisure activities, and event furnishings. Gaïalene offers us an excellent solution for responding to a clientele that is increasingly demanding and sensitive to sustainable development in their daily environment,“ points out Philippe Chomarat, Manager of Chomarat’s Plastics business line. The Oflex bio-based line contains 25 to 35% plant-based resources, which sets it apart from conventional coated fabrics made solely from nonrenewable materials. “We are very proud of this development with Chomarat, which is a major innovation in the field of coated fabrics. The company combines unique know-how and respect for the environment in its developments. Oflex bio-based is the result of an excellent partnership and we are convinced that this innovation will meet with success on the market,“ underscores Jean-Luc Monnet, Product and Business Development Manager at Roquette. Bioplastics facade mock-up The bioplastics facade mock-up was created within the framework of Research Project Bioplastic Facade, a project supported by EFRE (European Fund for Regional Development). It demonstrates one of the possible architectonic and constructional applications of the bioplastic materials developed in the course of this project. The blueprint is based on a triangular net made up of mesh elements of varying sizes. The mock-up was publicly presented on October 17, 2013 on the Stuttgart, Germany University campus. The ITKE (Institute for Building Construction and Structural Design, University of Stuttgart, Germany; Faculty for Architecture and Urban Planning) can look back on numerous years of experience in both teaching and researching the computer based planning, simulation, and production of cladding for buildings with complex geometries. Currently, materials made from petroleumbased plastic, glass, or metal are used to encase such structures. Thermoformable sheets of bioplastics will constitute a resourceefficient alternative in the future as they combine the high malleability and recyclability of plastics with the environmental benefits of materials consisting primarily of renewable resources. Collaborating materials scientists, architects, product designers, manufacturing technicians, and environmental experts were able to develop a new material for facade cladding which is thermoformable and made primarily (>90%) from renewable resources. Developed by project partner TECNARO within the framework of the research project, ARBOBLEND ® , a special type of bioplastic granules, can be extruded into sheets which are further processable as needed: They can be drilled, printed, laminated, laser cut, CNC-milled, or thermoformed to achieve different surface qualities and structures and various moulded components can be produced. The semifinished products serve as cladding for flat or free-formed interior and exterior walls. The material can be recycled and meets the high durability and inflammability standards for building materials. The goal of the project was to develop a maximally sustainable yet durable building material while keeping petroleumbased components and additives to a minimum. The ecological audit was completed by project partner ISWA (Institute for water engineering, water quality,and waste management). Furthermore, the materials’s resistance to microbial degradation was determined. 34 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/13] Vol. 8

Application News New compostable coffee pods Biome Bioplastics (Marchwood, Southampton, UK) has helped to develop a biodegradable coffee pod, offering one of the first sustainable packaging alternatives in the single-serve market. The global coffee capsule market is worth 5 billion Euros and is considered to be a rare bright spot in the global food and drink industry. There are now around 50 different coffee pod or capsule systems on the market, but their convenience comes at a price. For example an estimated 9.1 billion single-serve coffee and drink cartridges wind up in US landfills every year, amounting to some 540,000 m³ of waste. Coffee-pod machines are also increasingly popular in Britain with usage up by 45.1% between February 2012 and 2013, equating to around 186 million capsules. Unfortunately, single serve coffee pods are not easily recyclable. Mixed material pods are sent to landfill and those brands that do offer a recycling service have few recycling points and limited collection service. With mounting pressure around the environmental impact of their success, the coffee industry urgently needs more sustainable packaging options. In response to this challenge, Biome Bioplastics has developed a portfolio of compostable materials for coffee pods based on renewable, natural resources including plant starches and tree by-products (lignin). These bioplastics will degrade to prescribed international standards (such as EN 13432 or AST D 6400) in composting environments. As coffee is also a compostable resource the big advantage is, that the coffee and the pods can be disposed off to composting systems, e.g. via a biowaste bin collection system in areas where such systems are in place. “Single–serve coffee pods are an excellent example of the fundamental role that packaging plays in delivering quality and convenience in the food service sector”, explains Biome Bioplastics CEO Paul Mines. „The challenge is to reduce environmental impact through packaging optimisation without impacting on food quality or safety, or inconveniencing the customer. Bioplastics are an important part of the solution”. Based on the success of the biodegradable pods, Biome Bioplastics is working with manufacturing and brand partners to develop a number of natural polymerbased solutions for the hot drinks industry, with further announcements expected in the coming months. MT bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/13] Vol. 8 35

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