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issue 05/2021

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Highlights: Fibres, Textiles, Nonwovens Biocomposites Basics: CO2-based plastics

Brand Owner

Brand Owner Brand-Owner’s perspective on bioplastics and how to unleash its full potential Mattel, based out of El Segundo, California, United States, is one of the largest toy companies in the world, and recently presented during the bio!TOY conference in Nuremburg, Germany. Jason Kroskrity, Director of Sustainable Development, Chemistry and Materials at Mattel, lay out the company’s vision but also the challenges that lie ahead. “Sustainable design and development is about developing innovative products and experiences that are better for our world by integrating sustainable materials and principles of product stewardship and circular economy. This is the central pillar of why we are all here [at the bio!TOY] today.” Kroskrity then specified two major goals of Mattel for the next decade. To achieve 100 % recycled, recyclable, or biobased plastic materials in all products and packages by 2030, and to achieve and maintain 95 % recycled or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified content in the paper and wood fibre used in their packaging and products. Kroskrity explained that the real changes will come in form of so called Platform Approaches. AT “We’re working on solutions that are more horizontal – impacting the entire enterprise or a significant portion of our categories – which present significant challenges and will require a lot of R&D. That will be the focus for the next four or five years to identify viable solutions, so that we can start to implement them to achieve our 2030 goals.” Kroskrity also talked about the challenges ahead which may be well known to many like the costs, capacity, and availability of materials, but also the lacking infrastructures for both recycling and composting, that are simply not fully developed. Some challenges are also more material-specific, such as finding options that can be easily decorated. However, Kroskrity stresses that they don’t necessarily need potential raw materials that are currently 100 % biobased, if those materials can theoretically reach 100 % in the upcoming years. “We are developing alternatives with a glide path to support our 2030 goals. So we are looking for alternatives that have a sightline to 100 % biomaterials… [If] you can see the path ahead to that 100 % .... we are happy to grow with you.” Director of Sustainable Development, Chemistry and Materials at Mattel Barbie loves the ocean, from recycled ocean-bound plastics 52 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/21] Vol. 16

10 Years ago Published in bioplastics MAGAZINE Fibre Applications Spunbond-Film-Composites Made From Renewable Resources Article contributed by Ralf Taubner Sächsisches Textilforschungsinstitut e.V. Department of Spunbondeds/Films Chemnitz, Germany T Cross section of composite made of 20gsm PLA-spunbond nonwoven + 22µm biopolymer film (engraving point) he main goal of a recent research project was to develop a new production process for spunbond nonwovens made from PLA to promote the use of components for spunbond/film composites, and to seek further technical applications. The investigations carried out in this research project were particularly directed to further optimising the process developed in past investigations, and now with the help of an industrial sized laboratory, the researchers were able to investigate in particular filament fineness as well as basic weights, and to improve web uniformity. Finally, complete biologically degradable, extremely thin and light spunbond/film composites will be developed for hygiene and packaging applications. This composite will be distinguished by characteristics similar to conventional textiles regarding haptics and visual appearance without required increased and more expensive material usage. Textile PLA polymers were used for spunbond materials and PLA polymers plasticized by polyethylene glycol (PEG) were used for film production. All products within the hygiene range should have basic weights below 30gsm (grams per square meter) - similar to PP products. A special innovative feature was the combination of spunbond nonwovens and films made from biopolymers to produce new composite materials with improved permeability and barrier performance. First of all, PLA mono and bi-components were examined with regard to filament fineness and filament strength as well as tensile strength and elongation, depending on material throughput, cabin pressure, air vol- ume and filament speed. All filament variants were afterwards submitted to hot air and/or hot water shrinkage. The dependence of shrinkage behaviour on filament fineness was clearly proven. Finer filaments with higher stretching shrank less both in hot air and in hot water compared to thicker filaments with lower stretching. In case of thermal bonding all PLA spunbond nonwovens clearly differed depending on temperature and pressure as well as different basic weights. Some samples were only pre-bonded by calendering in order to be mechanically bonded by hydroentanglement or needle-punching in subsequent treatments. Comparison of the results with hydroentanglement showed that PLA based spunbond nonwovens can be more easily mechanically bonded than thermally bonded. Ultimately, PLA bi-component materials were thermally bonded with different biologically degradable films by means of calendering. These composites showed different characteristics with regard to tensile and tearing strengths, steam permeability, haptics and spunbond/film composite adhesion, depending on the adjusted process parameters at the calender process and on the manner of film feedin (inline and off-line procedure). The spunbond material made from modified PLA showed better haptics and/or softness compared to products made from standard PLA, however due to the level of polyglycol worse composite adhesion with films. Finally, composite adhesion could be significantly improved by Corona pre-treatment of the film and/or spunbond material. The main characteristics of the newly developed PLA spunbond/film composites were positively affected by optimization of process parameters, alternative engraving designs during calendering and optimized film formulation regarding composite adhesion and steam permeability. The author thanks the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology, Germany for the promotion of this research project carried out by the EuroNorm Gesellschaft für Qualitätssicherung and Innovationsmanagement mbH within the programme „Promotion of research and development with growth carriers in disadvantaged regions “ (Innovative Wachstumsträger/INNOWATT). Properties of developed Spunbond-Film-Composites made from renewable resources Tear growth resistance (acc. Trapeze) cd md cd md Water steam Composite permeability at 23°C adhesion Breaking load Breaking load E-Module E-Module Nonwoven Film and 100 % humidity Nonwoven thickness quality cN/cm N N N/mm 2 N/mm 2 g/(m 2 24h) 70:30 --> c/s 20 g/m 2 66020 4,9 8,2 7,1 443 990 194 PLA 6202D:PLA 6751D 70:30 --> c/s 20 g/m 2 61045 2,8 8,4 5,8 215 485 546 PLA 6202D:PLA 6751D 70:30 --> c/s 20 g/m 2 33808 0,8 - 2,5 6,9 - 11,3 5,0 - 6,7 239 - 278 602 - 856 148 - 207 PLA 6202D:PLA 6751D modified PLA (with 20 g/m 2 66020 0,4 - 2,0 4,9 - 6,5 3,2 - 5,6 127 - 330 497 - 675 477 - 609 Polyglykol) modified PLA (with 20 g/m 2 61045 0,8 5,7 3,5 160 205 441 Polyglykol) modified PLA (with 15 g/m 2 66020 1,9 - - - - - Polyglykol) PP-nonwoven /PE-Film - - - 19,5 9,9 134 349 51,4 Laminate Fa. Exten PP-nonwoven /PE-Film - - - 15,3 8 48 282 56 Laminate Fa. Clopay 66020 - 5 8,7 339 569 154 Film without nonwoven 61045 - 6,6 8,7 230 294 541 33808 - 5,2 8,3 236 467 112 18 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/11] Vol. 6 Cross section of composite made of 20gsm PLA-spunbond nonwoven + 20µm biopolymer film (engraving point) In September 2021, Ralf Taubner, Research associate, Sächsisches Textilforschungsinstitut said: PLA – a success story also for the textile and nonwovens industry 10 years ago, developments and applications of PLA and other biobased materials for the nonwoven and textile sectors were still in their infancy. Up to now, it has often been a rocky road. All developers and manufacturers had to contend with high raw material prices, low availability, and difficulties in processing. Today, PLA in particular is often at the top of the agenda for sustainable new developments in nonwovens and textiles. For the polymer, the significant rise in this industry began about 10 years ago and now many manufacturers are about to introduce new products on its basis, or it has already entered their portfolio. Hygiene nonwoven manufacturers, in particular, have increasingly focused on this sustainable feedstock in recent years. In other application areas such as agriculture, industrial filters, home or mobility textiles, materials made from biogenic feedstock also find enthusiastic customers. The success story of PLA and other biopolymers can probably no longer be stopped and is hopefully proof that not least a traditional such as the textile industry can think and act forward-looking and contribute to a sustainable future economy. Meet us at FAKUMA 2011 Friedrichshafen / Germany Hall B3 – Booth 3119 Looking for environmentally friendly and energy-saving material handling of free-owing plastics? We offer individual components up to complete handling systems for: Conveying Drying Crystallizing Dosing Mixing Dyeing All from one source! All made in Germany! SOMOS ® MANN+HUMMEL ProTec GmbH Stubenwald-Allee 9, 64625 Bensheim/Germany Tel. +49 6251 77061-0 E-mail:, bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/11] Vol. 6 19 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/21] Vol. 16 53

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