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Issue 03/2017

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  • Bioplastics
  • Biobased
  • Packaging
  • Materials
  • Plastics
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  • Biodegradable
  • Renewable
  • European
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Injection Moulding

Injection Moulding Engineering bioplastic breakthrough Eastman introduced a new versatile, cellulose-based thermoplastic for injection moulding At Chinaplas, Eastman Chemical Company, a leading producer of cellulosic materials headquartered in Kingssport, Tennessee, USA, introduced Eastman TRĒVA, a breakthrough in engineering bioplastics. “This material is a next generation cellulose ester,” as Kevin Duffy, Manager, Business Development in the Advanced Materials – Specialty Plastics organization at Eastman told bioplastics MAGAZINE. The exact formulation of course could not be disclosed. Sustainability Trēva’s composition is about half cellulose, sourced from trees derived exclusively from sustainably managed forests that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The new material is BPAfree and phthalate-free. “Like other cellulosic products, the basic building blocks are cellulose, acetic acid and acetic anhydride. At this point, only the cellulose is biobased,” said Kevin. Its excellent flow rates, durability and dimensional stability allow for less material usage, thinner parts, and longer product life, enhancing lifecycle assessments. Use performance Trēva offers excellent chemical resistance, standing up better than other engineering thermoplastics to some of the harshest chemicals, including skin oils, sunscreens, and household cleaners. testing shows that Trēva flow rates are significantly better than polycarbonate and polycarbonate/ABS blends, and comparable to ABS. Trēva is designed to allow for superior surface gloss, clarity and warm touch and feel, enabled through a combination of the base material and Eastman’s technological expertise. The material also boasts great color saturation, and superior secondary processing and decorating capability, creating additional design and branding options. Applications Trēva can be used for example for the following applications: • Eyeglass frames, wearable electronics, headphones, and many other personal devices that come in direct contact with the skin; • Electronic display applications, such as lenses and covers, that consumers need to see through; • Electronics, housings, intricate cosmetics cases, and other products with high design and complex specifications; • Automotive interior components wherein chemical resistance and aesthetics are desired; • And other demanding applications with high sustainability and safety requirements. And finally, Kevin Duffy told bioplastics MAGAZINE: “The breakthrough is the significant improvement in dimensional stability and creep resistance which has traditionally been a problem for cellulose-based products. This will enable Trēva to be used in a wide range of applications that could not have been addressed before, primarily in injection molding. Trēva brings excellent balance of performance and functionality in a bio-based material.” MT The material’s low birefringence means eliminating the unwelcomed rainbow effect some plastics experience with polarized light, improving the user experience with electronic device screens and retail displays. Design and brand flexibility Excellent flow characteristics also enable design freedom, allowing Trēva to be used with complicated designs and in filling thin parts. Under recommended processing conditions, recent thin-wall 0.762mm (30 mil) spiral flow 14 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/17] Vol. 12

Injection Moulding Biobased PA 6.10 compounds BIO-FED specialises in marketing biodegradable and biobased plastics. Until now the Cologne, Germany based company’s activities were centred primarily on products for film applications and individual products in the injection moulding sector, with a strong focus on the biodegradablity of the products. With the M∙VERA ® ECS product line, this branch of AKRO-PLASTIC GmbH is now adding renewable resource based polyamide compounds to its portfolio. Sustainability, biobased polymers and renewable resources – these are all important issues in the plastics industry today. In part driven by ongoing fluctuations in the price of oil, but also in an effort to reduce energy consumption and improve their carbon footprint, many polymer manufacturers are looking for solutions, along with the entire plastics-processing industry. “PA 6.10 fulfils the standard definition of a bioplastic since it is made up of approximately 60 % renewable resources”, says Roland Andernach, Product Manager at Bio-Fed. Castor oil from the seeds of the castor oil plant (Ricinuns communis) forms the basis of sebacic acid, which in turn serves as the basis for the product’s renewable raw material content. Unlike the previous products in the M∙Vera line, the ECS products are partially biobased, but not biodegradable. Because a long service life of the end product is desirable in technical applications, and high material resistance is required, these products are ideal to round out the Bio-Fed range. Not to mention that the material’s carbon footprint is more favourable overall than that of polymers entirely of fossil origin. This is due to the fact that the plant-based raw materials have already removed CO 2 from the environment during their growth phase. And since neither the seeds of the castor oil plant nor the castor oil extracted from them are used as food, there is no conflict with the food industry. “M∙Vera ECS claims its place in the market as a technical polymer, since it is characterised by greater resistance to highly aggressive media and hot water compared with PA 6 / PA 6.6. PA 6.10, for example, absorbs approximately 50 % less moisture than PA 6, exhibits greater dimensional stability, and has better cold impact resistance and an excellent surface finish”, explains Andernach. From a technical standpoint, this material closes the gap between PA 6 / PA 6.6 and PA 12. Yet the product’s working properties still correspond to those of a PA 6. MT bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/17] Vol. 12 15

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