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Issue 04/2019

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  • Bioplastics
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Highlights: Blowmoulding Composites Basics: Home Composting Cover Story: Cove PHA Bottles

new series BIOPLASTIC

new series BIOPLASTIC patents U.S. Patent 10,173,353 (January 8, 2019) “Biocomposite And/Or Biomaterial With Sunflower Seed Shells/Husks”, Ulrich Wendeln, Ulrich Meyer; (SPC Sunflower Plastic Compound GMBH, (Garrel, DE) Ref: WO 2013/072146 The use of sunflower seed shells/husks as a biocomposite filler for thermoplastics is taught. Thermoplastics shown to be suitable for use in biocomposites with sunflower seed shells/husks are polyethylene, polypropylene, polylactic acid, polyhydroxyalkanoates, acrylonitrile-butadienestyrene, PVC and polystyrene which accommodate the preferred processing temperature of up to 200 – 230 C. The desired properties of the composite based sunflower seed shells and husks are influenced by the control of the water content, grain size and fat content of the processed shells and husks. Typical for the biocomposite will be a shell/husk size of 0.01 – 0.5mm. The sunflower seed husks/shells can compete with woodplastic composites based on wood flour, kenaf, jute or flax. Use of the sunflower seed husks/shells may offer a lower cost base for the thermoplastic reinforcement component. This section highlights recently granted patents that are relevant to the specific theme/focus of the Bioplastics Magazine issue. The information offered is intended to acquaint the reader with a sampling of know-how being developed to enable growth of the bioplastics markets. U.S. Patent 10,137,596 (November 27, 2018) “Flexible High-Density Fiberboard and Method for Manufacturing The Same” Hanas Dahy, Jan Knippers; (Universität Stuttgart Institut Fur Tragkonstruktionen Und Konstruktives Entwerfen), (Stuttgart, DE) Ref: WO2016005026 This invention teaches a flexible high density fibreboard made from 80 – 90 % straw fiber and a vinyl acetateethylene-vinyl ester copolymer (thermoplastic elastomer). The straw fiber is prepared to a length of 0.5 – 5.0 mm prior to mixing with the thermoplastic elastomer. Other additives can be incorporated to enhance flame retardancy and coloration. A variety of straw fibers are shown to be suitable for this invention, eg wheat, corn, rice, oat, barley and rye. Rice straw fibers are preferred because of the natural high silica content(up to 20 %) which offers a degree of flame retardant performance. The fibreboard possesses good tensile strength and modulus. In addition the system exhibits recycle capability as well as aerobic compostability. The fibreboard taught offers an environmentally friendly alternative to formaldehyde and isocyanate based systems. Applications taught are for furniture, partitioning walls, anti-slip/anti-shock flooring and under layers for tile flooring. 46 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/19] Vol. 14

U.S. Patent 10,273,353 (April 30, 2019) “Method And System For Predicting Biocomposite Formulations And Processing Considerations Based On Product To Be Formed From Biocomposite Material”, James Henry, Satyanarayan Panigrahl, Radhey Lal Kushwaha, (CNH Industrial Canada Ltd), (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada) Ref: WO2015/114448 This patent teaches a system and method for predicting the formulation, processing method and processing parameters for designing and making biocomposite materials. The processing parameters include screw speed, barrel temperature, die/mold temperature, back pressure, injection pressure and holding pressure. The predictive properties include mechanical properties (strength, impact and modulus), thermal properties and electrical properties. The predictive attributes of this invention are based on finite element analysis and artificial neural networks. The biocomposite predictive capability includes both polymer matrices and renewable reinforcements; one or both of which may be renewable. The predictive basis of this invention improves the efficiency of the product design and prototyping phase and can be used to optimize the cost of the final biocomposite material early in the development stage. The invention teaches applicability to various thermal processing techniques, eg extrusion, injection molding, thermoforming and blow molding. U.S. Patent 10,239,992 (March 26, 2019) “Carbon Black Modified Polyesters”, Scott B. King, Brandon M. Kobilka, Joseph Kuczynski, Jason T. Wertz, (International Business Machines Corporation), (Amonk, NY United States) The production of polyester composite materials that contain covalently bonded carbon black particles is taught. The carbon black particles have surface functional groups, eg hydroxyl, that enable grafting of a polyester and/or initiate ring opening of a monomer to form a polyester such a polylactic acid(from its dimer form; 3,6-dimethyl- 1,4-dioxane-2,5-dione through the process of reactive extrusion). The carbon black that is taught can have other reactive functional groups such as carboxylic acids. Grafting and/or reactive extrusion can render greater homogeneity and distribution of the carbon black which can lower the requisite level of the carbon black needed for achieving the desired properties, eg color, electrical property performance. The polylactic acid matrix grafted to the carbon black allows for the potential of carbon black color concentrates useful for blending at the extruder. The covalently bound carbon black also reduces the amounts of free carbon black that become problematic in regrind processes often used to improve material use efficiency. U.S. Patent 10,266,646 (April 23, 2019) “Bio-Based Copolyester Or Copolyethylene Terephthalate”, Sanjay Mheta, (Auriga Polymers Inc), (Charlotte, NC United States) Ref: WO2016/140901 This patent teaches a bio-copolyester comprising 92 – 99 mole % bioPET made using conventional polyester technology where the ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid constitutents are both bio-derived(renewable in character). The remaining 1 – 8 mole % are selected from bio-derived diacids, eg succinic acid, 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid and/or bio- derived diols, eg bio-diethylene glycol, bio-cyclohexanedimethanol and/or bio-based branching agents, eg bio-trimethylol propane, bio-pentaerythritol. The selection of the 1- 8 mole % content is based on the attributes of the molded article and the process for making the molded article. It is taught that both the rheological control and crystallization rate is key for the blow molding process and the articles made. U.S. Patent 10,316,139 (June 11, 2019) “Aliphatic-Aromatic Biodegradable Polyester”, Catia Bastioli, Giampietro Borsotti, Luigi Capuzzi, Roberto Vallero ( Novamont S.P.A.) (Novara Italy) Ref: WO2009/135921 Aliphatic-aromatic biodegradable polyesters obtained from aliphatic dicarboxylic acids, polyfunctional aromatic acids of renewable origin, particularly 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid and diols are taught. As an example, the polyester is comprised of 40 – 70 mole % 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid, 30 – 60 mole % of a renewable based aliphatic diacid such as adipic acid or sebacic acid with the renewable diol being 1,4-butanediol. The properties of the standalone polyester are tailored by selection of the FDCA content and the aliphatic diacid content as well as the type of aliphatic diacid; adipic acid, azelaic acid, sebacic acid, suberic and brasslylic. Further property performance enhancements are taught through blends with other polymers such as polylactic acid, polyhydroxyalkanaote, starch and cellulose as well as organic fillers. The materials taught are suitable for films, fiber, thermoforms, injection molding and blow molding. bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/19] Vol. 14 47

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