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Market Production in

Market Production in 2012 Biocomposites Forecast production in 2020 without ... with strong ... ... incentives for bio-based products 190,000 t Construction, extrusion 400,000 t 450,000 t WPC 60,000 t Automotive, press moulding & extrusion/thermoforming 80,000 t 300,000 t 15,000 t Granulates, injection moulding 100,000 t > 200,000 t NFC 90,000 t 2,000 t Automotive, press moulding Granulates, injection moulding 10,000 t > 20,000 t 120,000 t 350,000 t Table 2: Production of biocomposites (WPC and NFC) in the European Union in 2012 and forecast 2020 (in tonnes) (nova 2014) natural fibres used in the 150,000 tonnes of composites for passenger cars and lorries that were produced in Europe in 2012 (90,000 tonnes of Natural Fibre Composites and 60,000 tonnes of WPC). Recycled cotton fibre composites are mainly used for the driver cabins of lorries. Process-wise, compression moulding of wood and Natural Fibre Composites are an established and proven technique for the production of extensive, lightweight and high-class interior parts for mid-range and luxury cars. The advantages (lightweight construction, crash behaviour, deformation resistance, lamination ability and, depending on the overall concept, price) and disadvantages (limited shape and design forming, scraps, cost disadvantages in case of high part integration in construction parts) are well known. Process optimisations are in progress in order to reduce certain problems such as scraps and to recycle wastage. Since 2009, new improved compression- moulded parts have shown impressive weight- reduction characteristics. This goes some way to explaining the growing interest in new car models. Using the newest technology, it is now possible to get area weight down to 1,500 g/ m2 (with thermoplastics) or even 1,000 g/m2 (with thermosets), which are outstanding properties when compared to pure plastics or glass fibre composites. Still small in volume but also strong in innovation: PP and cellulose-based granulates for injected- moulded parts were recently introduced onto the automotive market by big paper companies in Europe and the USA. Outlook for WPC and NFC production in the EU until 2020 The production and use of 150,000 tonnes biocomposites (using 80,000 tonnes of wood and natural fibres) in the automotive sector in 2012 could expand to over 600,000 tonnes of biocomposites in 2020, using 150,000 tonnes of wood and natural fibres each along with some recycled cotton. Yet this fast development will not take place if there are no major political incentives to increase the bio-based share of the materials used in cars. Without incentives the authors forecast that production will only increase to 200,000 tonnes. With improved technical properties, lower prices and bigger suppliers, huge percentage increases can also be expected for WPC and NFC granulates used in injection moulding for all kind of technical and consumer goods. Extruded WPC is now well established as a material for decking, fencing and facade elements. Its market share is still growing and should reach and surpass the level of tropical wood in most of the European countries by 2020. By: Michael Carus, Lara Dammer Lena Scholz, Roland Essel, Elke Breitmayer nova-Institute,Hürth, Germany Asta Eder Asta Eder Composites Consulting, Austria / Finland Hans Korte PHK Polymertechnik GmbH, Wismar, Germany A more comprehensive summary is available for free at The full report can be ordered for 1,000 € plus VAT at 44 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/14] Vol. 9

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