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Issue 05/2022

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  • Nonwovens
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  • Fibres
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Highlights: Fibres / Textiles / Nonwovens Building & Construction Basics: Feedstocks K'2022 preview

Fibres / Textiles /

Fibres / Textiles / Nonwovens Flax-based thermoplastic biocomposites SeaBioComp, a European project developing novel biobased thermoplastic composite materials, has successfully produced a number of demonstrator products for the marine environment, using different manufacturing processes, to showcase its flax-based thermoplastic biocomposites. Project partners in the team, including research organisations, textile and composite specialists, universities, and cluster organisations, have been working together for the past 3 years to develop, mechanically test, and research a number of biobased formulations using different manufacturing techniques. Two different kinds of biocomposites have been developed by the consortium; a self-reinforced PLAcomposite which has been made into a variety of non-woven and woven fabrics suitable for use in compression moulding, and a flax reinforced polylactide (PLA) or acrylic (PMMA) reinforced composite for use via RIFT, compression moulding and additive manufacturing. Extensive testing of the mechanical properties of the various biocomposites has concluded that these materials are close to and in some instances perform better than conventional non-biobased composites (sheet moulded composite, SMC) currently in use in the marine environment today. The new biobased products have been shown to use the same compression moulding conditions as conventional products and sometimes the process cycle time can be shorter. The project has shown that the combination of thermoplastic polymers, natural fibres, and 3D printing technologies can result in technically complex designs and applications being produced for the marine environment. Several initial prototype products, including a fender and other port structures, have successfully been produced using 3D printing; scale model offshore wind turbine blades manufactured via monomer infusion under flexible tooling (MIFT) and complex curved structures using compression moulding techniques. The project has released a series of technical leaflets detailing the various production methods using selfreinforced biocomposites and flax-based biocomposites for marine applications, including compression moulding, monomer infusion and additive manufacturing. These technical leaflets will be of interest to manufacturers of marine products as well as supply chain companies and the academic sector and are available as downloads from the project website. In addition, the project has also determined whether these biobased self-reinforced polylactic acid (SRPLA) products are suitable for use in the marine environment from a durability and microplastic formation perspective. A new paper, published in Polymer Testing, Science Direct discusses the potential for SRPLA to be considered a promising material for sustainable marine applications. The motivation for the project is to reduce the use of fossil-based materials in the marine sector by developing biobased composites that have long-term durability with reduced CO 2 emissions and environmental impact on the marine ecosystem. Early research in the project identified flax as the most suitable natural plant fibre to be used as reinforcement in the biocomposite. During growth, flax absorbs a lot of CO 2 and cleans the soil through phytoremediation. Organisations interested in biobased materials for the marine environment are invited to join the SeaBioComp Interest Group via their website. AT 18 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/22] Vol. 17

BOOK STORE Category New Edition 2020 NEW NEW NEW This book, created and published by Polymedia Publisher, maker of bioplastics MAGAZINE is available in English and German (now in the third, revised edition), and brand new also in Chinese, French and Spanish. The book is intended to offer a rapid and uncomplicated introduction to the subject of bioplastics and is aimed at all interested readers, in particular those who have not yet had the opportunity to dig deeply into the subject, such as students or those just joining this industry, as well as lay readers. It gives an introduction to plastics and bioplastics, explains which renewable resources can be used to produce bioplastics, what types of bioplastics exist, and which ones are already on the market. Further aspects, such as market development, the agricultural land required, and waste disposal, are also examined. The book is complemented by a comprehensive literature list and a guide to sources of additional information on the Internet. The author Michael Thielen is publisher of bioplastics MAGAZINE. He is a qualified mechanical design engineer with a PhD degree in plastics technology from the RWTH University in Aachen, Germany. He has written several books on the subject of bioplastics and blow-moulding technology and disseminated his knowledge of plastics in numerous presentations, seminars, guest lectures, and teaching assignments. New Edition 2020 ORDER NOW email: phone: +49 2161 6884463 19 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/22] Vol. 17

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