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Issue 03/2022

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  • Healthcare
  • Beauty
  • Injection moulding
  • Renewable carbon
  • Biodegradable
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  • Biobased
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  • Sustainable
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Highlights: Injection Moulding Beauty & Healthcare Basics: Biocompatibility of PHA Starch

Material News

Material News Ingevity’s Capa thermoplastic technology is certified OK biodegradable MARINE Ingevity Corporation (North Charleston, SC, USA) recently announced its Capa ® thermoplastic grades obtained the OK biodegradable MARINE certification by TÜV Austria Bureau of Inspection and Certification (Vienna, Austria). OK biodegradable MARINE confirms Capa thermoplastics fully biodegrade in a marine environment within four weeks, prohibiting the formation of persistent microplastics and enabling a safer marine ecosystem than traditional plastics made with alternative chemistries. Used in applications including bags, films, consumer packaging, and utensils, Ingevity’s portfolio of Capa thermoplastics becomes one of few bioplastics certified as OK biodegradable MARINE, a distinction requiring materials to achieve complete biodegradation in seawater environments, where much lower temperatures make biodegradability more challenging than land composting conditions. Products tested must biodegrade within twelve weeks to achieve certification. By fully biodegrading within four weeks, Capa’s certified products enable customers to address marine biodegradability requirements while reducing the impact on the marine ecosystem. “Marine waste is one of the most widespread pollution problems facing the world’s waterways”, said Steve Hulme, senior vice president, Performance Chemicals, and president, Engineered Polymers. “We support the global imperative to advance recycling efforts for plastic, and, for our part, offer solutions that help plastics biodegrade quickly and completely, whether they be composted, landfilled or, unfortunately, make their way into our oceans”. Additional certifications verifying the environmental benefits of Capa bioplastics include GreenPla (Japan), Seedling and TÜV Austria OK compost HOME and OK compost INDUSTRIAL. AT www.ingevity.com UBCO researchers use plastination to strengthen bamboo fibres UBC Okanagan (Kelowna, Canada) researchers have adapted a technique – originally designed to embalm human remains – to strengthen the properties of biocomposites and make them stronger. With the innovation of new materials and green composites, it is easy to overlook materials like bamboo and other natural fibres, explains UBCO Professor of Mechanical Engineering Abbas Milani. These fibres are now used in many applications such as clothing, the automotive industry, packaging, and construction. His research team has now found a way not only to strengthen these fibres but reduce their tendency to degrade over time, making them even more environmentally friendly. Bamboo is one of the world’s most harvested and used natural fibres with more than 30-million tonnes produced annually. However, its natural fibres can absorb water, and degrade and weaken over time due to moisture uptake and weathering. Using a process called plastination to dehydrate the bamboo, the research team then use it as a reinforcement with other fibres and materials. Then they cure it into a new high-performance hybrid biocomposite. First developed by Gunther von Hagens in 1977, plastination has been extensively used for the long-term preservation of animal, human, and fungal remains, and now has found its way to advanced materials applications. Plastination ensures durability of the composite material for both short- and longterm use, says Daanvir Dhir, the report’s co-author and recent UBC Okanagan graduate. “The plastinated-bamboo composite was mixed with glass and polymer fibres to create a material that is lighter and yet more durable than comparable composites”, says Dhir. “This work is unique as there are no earlier studies investigating the use of such plastinated natural fibres in synthetic fibre reinforced polymer composites”. Dhir says this new durable hybrid bamboo/woven glass fibre/polypropylene composite, treated with the plastination technique has a promising future. Supported by industrial partner NetZero Enterprises (Solana Beach, CA, USA), the research shows that adding only a small amount of plastinated materials to the bamboo can increase the impact absorption capacity of the composite – without losing its elastic properties. This also lowers the material’s degradation rate. More work needs to be done on the optimization of this process as Dhir says plastination is currently time-consuming. But he notes the benefit of discovering the right composition of plastinated natural fibres will result in a sizable reduction of non-degradable waste in many industries, with a lower environmental footprint. The research appeared in the Journal Composite Structures. MT https://ok.ubc.ca | www.netzero.enterprises 30 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/22] Vol. 17

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