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Issue 06/2021

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  • Cellulose
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  • Coatings
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  • Sustainable
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  • Biobased
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  • Materials
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Highlights: Coating Films, Flexibles, Bags Basics: Cellulose based bioplastics

Material News Flax/PLA

Material News Flax/PLA biocomposite LANXESS (Cologne, Germany) recently introduced a new product in the Tepex range of continuous-fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites. “We have combined fabrics made from natural flax fibres with biobased PLA as a matrix material and thereby developed a composite manufactured entirely from natural resources. We are now able to produce it to a level of quality suitable for large-scale production,” explains Stefan Seidel, head of Tepex research and development at Lanxess. Low-density flax fibres Flax fibres have a significantly lower density than glass fibres. Thus, the composites made with these fibres are noticeably lighter in weight than their glass-fibrereinforced counterparts. The flax fibres are used in the form of continuous-fibre reinforced fabrics. This enables the biocomposites to demonstrate the outstanding mechanical performance typical of Tepex, which is based mainly on the continuous flax yarns arranged in particular directions. The weight-specific stiffness of the biocomposite is comparable to that of the equivalent glass-fibre-reinforced material variants. Designing the composite components to suit the expected loads enables most of the force to be transferred via the continuous fibres. According to Seidel, “This ensures that the high strength and stiffness characteristic of fibrereinforced plastics are achieved.” To be used in cars, industry, electronics, and sports When coupled with transparent matrix plastics such as PLA, the reinforcing flax fabric yields surfaces with a brown natural carbon-fibre look. “This appearance highlights the natural origin of the fibres and the entire composite and creates added visual appeal in sporting goods, for example,” explains Seidel. In addition to sports equipment, the new biocomposite could be used in cars, such as for manufacturing interior parts, or in electronics for the production of such things as housing components. At Fakuma (12 th — 16 th October, Friedrichshafen, Germany) Lanxess showed bioplastics MAGAZINE a sample part made of a flax/PLA Tepex organo-sheet with astounding deep-drawratios for a woven fabric. Easy to recycle Like the variants of Tepex based solely on fossil raw materials, the new biocomposites can be completely recycled as purely thermoplastic systems as part of closed-loop material cycles. “Offcuts and production waste can be regranulated and easily injection-moulded or extruded, either alone or mixed with unreinforced or short-fibre reinforced compound new materials,” says Seidel. In the medium term, Lanxess is planning to use other biobased thermoplastics such as polyamide 11 and other natural and recycled fibres in the production of Tepex. MT | Reclaimed fibre project Green Dot Bioplastics (Emporia, Kansas, USA) and Mayco International (Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA) have partnered to reclaim trim and scrap fibres for Natural Fiber Reinforced Plastic (NFRP). Mayco International, an award-winning tier 1 automotive supplier, wanted a sustainable solution for waste produced during the manufacture of automotive components. Green Dot Bioplastics launched Terratek ® NFRP in 2020, a type of biocomposite using fibres such as hemp, jute, sisal, American Bamboo, and flax, instead of glass or carbon fibre. Together, the two companies developed an NFRP composite material using the trim and scrap fibres, removing them from the waste stream and expanding the lifespan of the original materials. “We wanted to find a better use of the waste stream from our latest natural fibre composite technologies,” said Mayco International Advanced Development Engineer Chris Heikkila. “We partnered up with Green Dot who specializes in bioresins & natural filled plastic products, because of their expertise & current natural filled product portfolio.” “We were excited when Mayco came to us looking for a solution to their waste issue,” Green Dot Director of Research & Development Mike Parker said. “They are committed to creating products that are environmentally responsible through sustainable, efficient processes which is exactly what we do at Green Dot.” Both Green Dot and Mayco International value environmental responsibility, sustainability, and innovation. The new material using Terratek NFRP technology aligns with those values, providing a sustainable alternative to carbon-based and traditional plastics. While they have similar physical properties, aesthetics, and chemical makeup, Terratek NFRP is lighter, quieter, and, in the case of this collaboration with Mayco International, reclaims fibres that would otherwise be disposed of as waste. Green Dot recently featured this new product at CAMX 2021 in Dallas. AT | 22 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16

New biobased plasticizer Cargill (Wayzata, Minnesota, USA) is adding to its bioindustrial solutions portfolio with Biovero TM biobased plasticizer, which is used for a wide variety of product manufacturing applications such as flooring, clothing, wires, cables, and plastic films and sheets for its industrial customers throughout North America, with plans to expand the product globally. “As governments and consumers look to cut the use of phthalates due to potential health concerns, and overall demand for PVC products used in infrastructure expands globally, we’re anticipating a significant increase in plant-based product manufacturing across multiple categories,” said Kurtis Miller, managing director of Cargill’s bioindustrial business. “Biovero plasticizers are one of our contributions to a more sustainable supply chain in commercial manufacturing, which provides new applications for our renewable feedstocks while delivering more environmentally-conscious products to the marketplace.” The first application for Biovero plasticizers will be in the production of home and commercial flooring. Flooring manufacturers are seeing high performance with the plantbased product while meeting regulatory requirements and consumer demands for phthalate-free products. Biovero plasticizer’s plant-based qualities allow manufacturers to produce goods more efficiently than conventional plasticizers while reducing energy, scrap, and material usage. The plasticizer joins a diverse portfolio of Cargill Bioindustrial plant-based solutions, ranging from asphalt rejuvenation, adhesives and binders, wax, dielectric fluids, lubricants and paints, coatings and inks. AT Material News New bio-filled polymer grades At Fakuma (October 12 th - 16 th , Friedrichshafen, Germany) Avient (Luxemburg) announced the launch of new biofilled polymer grades. This new offering strengthens its sustainable solutions portfolio and responds to customer needs. bioplastics MAGAZINE spoke to Deborah Sondag, Senior Marketing Manager, Specialty Engineered Materials at Avient. The new reSound NF bio-filled grades are based on polymers such as polypropylene (PP) with 15 to 20 % biobased filler. The filler is sourced from plant waste that would otherwise be landfilled, which in turn could release the greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere if the landfill is not properly covered and managed. The new materials have a pleasing aesthetic compared to alternative natural fibre-filled polymer grades, are fully colourable, and can be formulated to meet various regulatory compliance standards, making them suitable for consumer applications such as household items and personal care products. One early adopter of the new materials is Turkish toothbrush brand, Difaş (Istanbul, Turkey). Looking to differentiate in the market and meet the desires of consumers, Difaş worked with Avient to develop a solution for toothbrush handles, combs, and hairbrush handles that utilizes natural fillers while also offering high-end colorability and durability. “The new bio-filled polymer from Avient has enabled us to reduce the carbon footprint of a range of our products by reducing the consumption of petroleum-based polymers. This has enabled us to work toward our sustainability goals, while bringing new competitive solutions to the market,” said Cevdet Yüceler Owner and Chairman of the Board at Difaş. “Demand is rising for consumer products that utilize more recycled and renewable materials. Avient material science experts are continuously developing innovative solutions that enable our customers to achieve their sustainability goals and reduce the overall impact on the world’s resources,” said Matt Mitchell, director, global marketing at Avient. “The bio-filled grades can also be made with ABS. But as of now, we are not using recycled PP, recycled ABS nor any biobased plastics as a matrix. But costumers are approaching us every day with different demands”, said Deborah Sondag. On July 1 st , 2020, PolyOne, a leading global provider of specialized polymer materials, services and sustainable solutions, had acquired the colour masterbatch businesses of Clariant and Clariant Chemicals India PolyOne had then announced that it has changed its name in Avient. bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 23

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