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Application News

Application News Lightweight sports canoe Composites Evolution‘s Biotex Flax materials have been used successfully by German-based canoe designer Lake Constance in its Felicity freestyle canoe. Composites Evolution (Bridgeway, Chesterfield, UK) explains that the Biotex materials range of natural reinforcements provide a sustainable alternative to high-performance materials such as glass fibre. Its Biotex materials are designed by composites experts specifically for composites processes and are suitable for a wide range of applications such as automotive, sports and consumer products. Fruit packs for Italian schools The EU program Frutta nelle Scuole (Fruit at School) was first introduced in 2009, involving 870,000 children in 5,000 schools in Italy, and resulted with an increased consumption of fruits and vegetables among children. One of the supported initiatives consisted of distributing packs of ready-toeat fruits and vegetables in primary schools to children between the ages of 6 and 11 years. Fruit packs are designed to be easily consumed on the go by pupils, and NATIVIA bio-based and compostable PLA films have been chosen for the pillow packs of fresh cut apples and pears, thanks to their performance and environmental benefits. Other varieties include oranges, kiwis, carrots, cherry tomatoes and fennels. MT For its Felicity canoe, Lake Constance was looking for materials with excellent mechanical properties which could still maintain a natural look and feel to the final product. According to Composites Evolution, with proven mechanical properties and easy processing, Biotex Flax helped Lake Constance stay true to the unique look and feel needed for its product. The Felicity is described as a precise and agile solo Freestyle/ touring canoe. Lake Constance builds its canoes in-house, in a vacuum infused all-natural-fibre laminate. Sebastian Stetter of Lake Constance Canoes commented „Using Biotex Flax meant we took a huge step forward towards fulfilling our mission - building canoes which are as sustainable as possible. Working with it was such a pleasure that we want to use it everywhere. Once we made the switch to flax, we never looked back.“ MT 34 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/14] Vol. 9

Applications Figure 2: Bionic design of ZIEHL-ABEGG fan blade with optimised geometry for reducing drive power and noise (photo credit: ZIEHL-ABEGG). Biobased PA 6.10 helps bionics Specialising in innovative, application-orientated plastic compounds for over 25 years, AKRO-PLASTIC (Niederzissen, Germany) has partnered ZIEHL-ABEGG (Künzelsau, Germany) to develop a polyamide 6.10-based AKROMID ® S compound for the bionic bio-fan. Akromid S from Akro-Plastic, satisfies the common definition of a bioplastic, with a biogenic carbon content of up to 70%. Castor oil forms the basis of sebacic acid, which in turn serves as the main building block for the polymer‘s renewable raw material portion. PA 6.10 is not bio-degradable. In engineering plastics applications, this property is completely undesirable, as such applications require a long service life of the end product and an equally high material resistance, which cannot be fulfilled by a degradable plastic. Ziehl-Abegg recognised the advantages of bionics early on in the area of ventilation technology and has consistently applied the acquired knowledge in the design of their new generation of fans, whose blade geometry is based on an owlwing pattern, resulting in a reduction in fan noise. Bionics, which utilises design solutions based on examples found in nature, ensures constant improvement in the development of solutions for technical design work. Alongside lightweight construction due to material reductions, high mechanical strengths through the use of struts in the necessary places and a reduction in notching effects due to special notching geometries, various other solutions have been developed based on the knowledge gleaned. The latestgeneration axial fan from Ziehl-Abegg, made from Akro- Plastic polyamide 6.10, was developed in this way. Whereas knowledge of mechanical strength ensures a design‘s longevity, further knowledge of fluid mechanics is necessary for fan blades. Compared with standard polyamides (such as PA 6 and PA 6.6) PA 6.10 has advantages in terms of less water absorption, better chemical resistance and lower density. The use of this material in Ziehl Abegg fans provides the following advantages: • up to 6% lower component weight • less effect of moisture on the mechanical properties • greater dimensional consistency • CO 2 savings of up to 60% with respect to the percentage of polyamide The mechanical properties of AKROMID S, reinforced with 30% glass fibre, ensure safe operation of the fan even at higher speeds. Excellent surface quality is also achieved with this glass-fibre content. Not least, this is the result of the process technology used in the manufacturing method. The twin-screw extruder from the sister company Feddem in Sinzig (Germany), which has no kneading block, ensures careful dispersion. The incorporated glass fibres are not reduced as drastically in length with this gentle compounding method, allowing greater values to be achieved in tensile strength and impact strength. The new bionic fans will soon be used in refrigeration technology (cold chain to the supermarket), heaters and heat pumps, and for electronics cooling (computing centres and switchgear-cabinet and inverter cooling). In these areas, the fans ensure that noise emissions are greatly reduced, in addition to making efficient usxe of resources in terms of materials. The environmentally friendly bionic concept from Ziehl-Abegg has received honours and awards in a number of competitions. MT Top view of bionic fan (photo credit: ZIEHL-ABEGG). bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/14] Vol. 9 35

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