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Issue 01/2014

  • Text
  • Bioplastics
  • Plastics
  • Biobased
  • Materials
  • Recycling
  • Products
  • Biodegradable
  • Germany
  • Carbon
  • Automotive
Highlights: Automotive Foam Pharmafilter Land use

Report compostable

Report compostable Example of a compostability logo: the ‘Seedling’ logo of European Bioplastics, awarded by independent certification institutes Starch blends (compostable according to EN 13432) A study by BIOTEC [3] has evaluated tensile strength, elongation at break and specific impact resistance for mixtures of PE with possible contaminations with a starch/ PBAT (Bioplast® by Biotec) blend as well as PP and PS. It was shown that the biodegradable starch blend contaminates PE no more than a contamination with conventional plastics such as PS or PP. In most cases the properties of the mixtures of PE with PS or PP as contaminants showed worse performances than the contamination of PE with a starch blend. However, the same study found out that even smallest amounts of PET (2%) in a PE recycling stream results in serious problems. Due to the comparatively high melting temperature of PET (approx. 250°C), it was impossible to run a PE-based blown-film. These results suggest that the contaminating effect of a compostable plastic on PE is actually less than the contaminating effect of PET on PE. A study by the University of Hanover [1] also examined a starch blend used in flexible packaging applications. It was found that the influence on the viscosity and flow characteristics was only marginal up to the tested ratio of 10%. Concerning the melt flow rate the influence on the processing properties was described as low considered with the pure LDPE. A change of colour was observed with increasing amount of starch blend. Tests carried out at the Plastics Testing Laboratory Foundation of the Polytechnic Institute of Milan and the Proplast Laboratories in Tortona/Italy (on behalf of CONAI, the National Packaging Consortium in Italy) [4], have confirmed that it is possible to reprocess and recycle bags of a starch based material (MaterBi® by Novamont) and traditional plastic shopping bag waste up to a concentration of 10% of starch-blends as input material. CONAI found that flexible, compostable packaging can be recycled with common plastics packaging materials up to a content of 10% without any problems [5]. CONAI concluded that even if biodegradable bags are not disposed off properly they do not interfere with the recycling stream of conventional plastics. MT This article is an abridged and edited version of a more comprehensive Meta-Study published by European Bioplastics. The complete Meta-Study can be downloaded from References: [1] A. Kitzler, Bioplastics in Waste Management Streams, Dissertation, University of Hannover, 2013 [2] H.-J. Endres, A.-A. de la Cruz, Influence of PLA/PBAT material (ecovio) on the recycling of conventional LD PE, University of Hannover, 2013 [3] C. Heß, Influence of BIOPLAST-Material and conventional non-PE Plastics on the mechanical Properties of recycled PE- Film, BIOTEC, Presented at K Fair 2013 [4] Italian National Packaging Consortium CONAI, Findings of Biodegradable Packaging Recovery Project. Presented at the European Bioplastics Conference, Berlin, 2013. [5] php?id=114824, last accessed Jan21, 2014 14 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/14] Vol. 9

Automotive Bio- materials at Ford Instrument panel P Ford B-Max (Photo: IAC Group) As it is well-known, Ford Motor Company’s efforts to implement recycled and renewable materials in their vehicles are about a century old. In the early twentieth century, it was Henry Ford himself who led those efforts. Today, Ford has a comprehensive team working to fulfil its vision of ensuring that their products are engineered to enable their leadership on applying those sustainable materials without compromising product quality, durability, performance, or economics. The portfolio of biomaterials that Ford’s teams have been investigating and successfully managed to implement in their vehicles is quite extensive: from soy foams to ground tires mixed with bio-based foams; from natural fiber reinforced polypropylene to castor oil based polyamide (cf. bM 01/2013). Among these available bio-based materials, the natural fiber reinforced polypropylene (NF-PP) presents a great potential to multiply the number of applications in the short to-mid-term due to its good mechanical properties, environmental performance and attractive weight saving potential when replacing mineral and glass filled compounds. In order to exploit this potential, Ford Motor Company has been cooperating with material and component developers in several fields to fill up the gap preventing PP-NF large scale production of (and usage in) injection molded parts. Due to today’s short vehicle development time and the many and multifaceted requirements, the development of all car components using CAE methods and models is a crucial topic to series implementation. In order to fulfil this demand, the Ford Research and Advanced Engineering team in Aachen, Germany, has been leading a project to generate data and develop CAE methods that allow the simulation of natural fiber composites. The project, which is called Natural Fiber Composite-/ NFC-Simulation, is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) through the Agency for Renewable Resources e.V. (FNR). It includes eleven partners covering the whole supplier chain and features experts from academic areas. This project aims at generating a complete and integrated solution for the simulation of NF composites, from material processing to crash simulation of automotive parts. In order to achieve these capabilities, many technical and scientific challenges had to be addressed and solved in detail and the results integrated into a holistic solution. The detailed tasks are: • establishing the micro-mechanical characteristics of natural fibers before and after compounding with polymer(s) • deriving suitable fiber orientation models • modeling typical side-effects when using NF plastics (fiber damage, separation etc.) • manufacturing NF compounds and test parts produced under uniform processing conditions • describing the rheological and thermal characteristics of NF compounds completely • determining quasi-static and dynamic mechanical characteristics • scaling up compound production for selected materials to (near-)series conditions • integrating material models with commercial CAE software, especially for processing and crash simulation purposes • simulating a series component (process and crash simulation) • producing the series component and conducting extensive mechanical testing, including crash response of high dynamic impact tests This project is running until mid of 2014. Once the work is completed, Ford Motor Company expects to have contributed to improving the acceptance of such materials and opening the door for NF compounds into mass production in the entire automotive industry. bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/14] Vol. 9 15

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