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Issue 04/2016

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Application News

Application News FORMcard Formcard is a project that was successfully funded on Kickstarter on the 6 th December with over 2,000 backers and 816 % funding. The product is a handy, pocket sized card of strong, meltable biopolastic that can be used to make, fix and modify virtually anything in everyday life. It just needs to be droped it in a cup of hot water and it’s ready to use. “Everyone should keep one in their wallet, toolbox or kitchen drawer so that it’s always around when you need to fix something,” says Peter Marigold, founder of Formcard. FORMcards are instant. When they are cool, they are ready to use to fix things quickly in emergency situations, like when a handle breaks on a tool, or a button falls off the jacket. The material is strong like nylon, as the inventor states, so it can be used for long lasting solutions. When very hot the material sticks well to other plastics, which is good for repairing things, such as broken plastic toys, tools or anything you may think of. FORMcards are reusable, so if you something does not fulfil the expectations or is no longer needed it can just be molten back down again. Great for making toys when the kids grow up. The handy cards can be used anywhere where hot water is available. In a cafe to fix a broken umbrella, or around a campfire to fix a broken tent pole. The material can be used to make tool covers... fix plastic shovels... it’s even strong enough to make a basic wrench in an emergency! FORMcards are made from a starch based bio-plastic that is totally non-toxic. Peter has worked closely with both the chemical company, the moulders and even the colorant suppliers to ensure this is the case, even to go as far as rejecting the easy use of universal pigments which contain styrenes in favour of powder pigments. “This is messier for us, but better for you and everyone else,“ as Peter points out. And he is proud that his FORMcards are produced entirely in the U.K. MT Biobased Ring Binders At the United Soybean Board’s Biobased Stakeholders’ Dialogue held at the USDA headquarters Samsill Corporation presented its new Earth’s Choice Biobased ring binders. The company from Fort Worth, Texas, USA, joined Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and an array of biobased stakeholders earlier this month in Washington, D.C. at the United Soybean Board’s Biobased Stakeholders’ Dialogue held at the USDA headquarters. Samsill displayed its new Earth’s Choice Biobased ring binders. The company combined 100 % post-consumer recycled chipboard - with plastic containing 25 % of Green Polyethylene, a bioplastic made from sugarcane ethanol, a 100 % renewable source which promotes the reduction of greenhouse gasses. The finished product is at least 69 % bio-based (tested using ASTM D-6866) and is a USDA Certified Bio-based Product. “At Samsill, we are committed to educating consumers and delivering new and unique biobased products to a wide range of consumer markets. We are excited to participate in the Biobased Stakeholder’s Dialogue and thank the United Soybean Board for hosting such an important event.” explained Drew Bowers, VP of Marketing at Samsill. Earlier versions of the Earth’s Choice binder were marketed as “biodegradable with a polypropylene cover formulated to biodegrade in microbial landfill”. However, Drew recognized the downsides of using additive induced “landfill-degradable” plastics, which is a good approach. “We have always felt and still do that biobased i. e. the the origin of the raw material is more important to help us making a better sustainable product. Companies like Coca-Cola have done a great job marketing this feature and helping to educate consumers,” Drew said to bioplastics MAGAZINE MT 20 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/16] Vol. 11

Application News bio-PA for drinking water-contact applications Royal DSM (Heerlen, The Netherlands), is taking its EcoPaXX ® polyamide into an important new market – drinking water contact applications. Use of this material offers a high-performance, lead-free option for applications such as faucet mixing valves. The water management market is looking for high-performance polymers that are able to withstand the stringent requirements of hot-water contact, while still meeting all major drinking water approval schemes. Legislation also has been driving replacement of metals in applications that involve direct contact with drinking water. Brass and other metals traditionally have been used for such applications as faucets, water-meter and boiler components. Lead contamination in drinking water is a major concern worldwide, leading to more stringent regulation on lead limits in drinking water. This has driven the industry to look for alternatives, and engineering plastics such as EcoPaXX offer a completely lead-free solution, and fully comply with those regulations. Leading industry players already are successfully using EcoPaXX Q-DWX10, a 50 % glass-fiber-reinforced polyamide 410, for faucet mixing valves because of its outstanding performance. This material enables the design of faucet mixing valves with lower risk of part failure and water leakage, a key focus for the industry. Faucet mixing valves need to provide long-term durability and perform reliably when in contact with both warm (60 °C) and hot water (90 °C). EcoPaXX offers superior toughness, better hydrolysis resistance and dimensional stability than other polyamide-based materials. It not only is lead-free, but also yields improved torque and bending strength, even after extended exposure to boiling water. EcoPaXX absorbs 30 % less water and offers superior chemical resistance, which is especially important when in contact with chlorinated water. It has passed more than 1 million lifetime cycles testing in varying water temperatures, and fully complies with all major drinking water certifications, such as NSF61 and KTW. Externally validated by international lifecycle assessment experts, EcoPaXX base polymer is carbon-neutral from cradle to gate. Compared to polyphthalamide (PPA) resins with similar function, EcoPaXX compounds offer a 30 % lower carbon footprint. Additionally, the material shows excellent flow and processability, resulting in high weld-line strength, and can be processed like any other standard polyamide material. Having recognized this trend, DSM is further extending its portfolio of specialty materials suitable for addressing the full spectrum of drinking water contact uses. The company already offers EcoPaXX and ForTii – inherently hydrolysis-resistant grades that are based on polyamides 410 and 4T, respectively. It also recently added Xytron PPS compounds, which are ideal when very high dimensional stability is needed. “With the successful commercialization of EcoPaXX polyamide 410 in faucet mixing valves, DSM has proven its ability to offer solutions for highly critical drinking water contact applications,” says Caroline Mitterlehner, business responsible for the water management segment at DSM. “DSM is already active in many high-heat and water-contact applications in other industries, such as cooling-systems in automotive. We are now successfully translating this competence of resistance to hydrolytic environments into the drinking water contact market, where temperatures are lower, but required lifetimes are typically much longer.” Weatherproof jacket made from sugar The outdoor brand Bergans (Hokksund, Norway) recently marked a milestone in the outdoor clothing industry with the development of the first plant-based, technical weatherproof jacket – the Eidfjord. The Eidfjord is a lightweight, technical, 3-layer waterproof breathable jacket using a new fabric called Ecodear. Ecodear was a co-development project between Bergans and the Japanese company Toray. It’s a 30 % plant-based environmentally friendly polyester, designed to reduce the amount of petroleum-based materials used in apparel, and thus their overall carbon footprint. The Ecodear is used on the outer layer of the jacket. The Ecodear fabric retains its highly technical performance due to the chemical structure of the Ecodear polyester being identical to conventionally produced polyester. Another component is Toray’s well-known waterproof, windproof and highly breathable membrane Dermizax ® . Bergans developed Ecodear in partnership with Toray. It is made partly from molasses, a waste product of sugar production, and helps to reduce the amount of petroleum-based materials used in jacket production and their overall carbon footprint. As for the Eidfjord’s outdoor features, it was designed specifically for hiking and all-weather outdoor use, with an extended back, fixed hood customized for helmets, laser cut and welded seams, front pockets designed to not interfere with a pack’s hip belt, articulated elbows, long underarm zips for ventilation, and tailored cuffs with Velcro closure. MT bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/16] Vol. 11 21

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