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Bioplastics In Full Bloom: 30% Growth Rate Forecast

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 5. July 2016

A leading market research provider sees a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% for the global bioplastics market.

 

Long-time market research provider BCC Research, Wellesley, Mass., has been following the bioplastics market for over 10 years. The latest report, “Global Markets and Technologies for Bioplastics”, published last month, examined the global bioplastic market and projects a CAGR of 30% for the five-year period, 2015 to 2020.

 

Author Jason Chen reports that there is even some potential development of bioplastics from animal resources. Chen also reviews plastics that may be potentially made from waste carbon dioxide because of their potential impact on bioplastics, though their data are now included in the report’s forecasts.

 

Chen further defines bioplastics as polymer materials that are produced by synthesizing—chemically or biologically—materials that contain renewable organic materials. Natural organic materials that are not chemically modified (e.g., wood composites) are excluded. The report includes the use of renewable resources to create monomers that replace petroleum-based monomers, such as feedstocks made from sugarcane that are used to manufacture PET and PE. Ethanol, a major product in Brazil, is one small chemical step from ethylene. The report’s focal point is on the following chemistries:

 

• Polylactic acid (PLA)

• Themoplastic starch

• Biopolyamides (nylons).

• Polyhydroxyalknoates (PHAs)

• Biopolyols and polyurethane

• Cellulosics

• Biopolytrimethylene terephthalate

• Biopolyethylene

• Biopolyethylene terephthalate

• Polybutylene succinate

 

Here’s what else the new report offers:

 

• An overview of the global markets for bioplastics.

• Analyses of global market trends with data from 2014, 2015, and projections of CAGRs through 2020.

• Identification of trends that will affect the use of bioplastics and their major end-use application markets.

• Information on specific end markets for bioplastics by material types, with sections devoted to each type of renewably sourced plastic.

• Analysis of market developments regarding major applications for bioplastics, including packaging, automotive, electrical/electronic, medical, building and construction.

• Profiles of major players.

 

The report does not include biodegradable and photodegradable polymers made from petrochemical feedstocks. Other renewable resin chemistries are also covered but in less detail, as their roles are an early development stages. Included are collagen and chitosan.

 

Learn more about bioplastics at Plastics Technology’s online material database.

 

New Resin Made From Disposable Paper Coffee Cups

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 28. June 2016

Consultancy and recycling manufacturer may have the answer to turning disposable coffee cups into durable resin.

 

Consulting firm Nextek and recycling manufacturer AShortWalk of the U.K., have partnered in the development of a new resin, NextCupCycle, made from disposable paper coffee cups.

 

It turns out that less than 25% of an estimated 3 billion paper cups used annually in the U.K are currently recycled. Part of the problem is the hot beverage cups themselves, which are made from paper fiber tightly bonded with a PE coating layer. This construction makes them troublesome to recycle, as it would require the painstaking separation of each layer.

 

Dr. Edward Kosior, Nextek’s managing director and professor at Brunel University London’s Wolfson Centre for Materials Processing, saw the solution not in the separation of tightly combined materials, which often results in neither component coming out pure, but rather capitalizing in the strength of the materials in their combined form. A four-year research project at Imperial College London, led to the creation of a new resin that is up to 40% stronger than conventional plastics in weight-handling capabilities and which can be molded into products at high speeds.

 

The partners have aimed for a 50:50 ratio of paper fibers to plastic coating (PE) to improve the adhesion between the two materials, and have added by-products such as plastic lids and straws to the help achieve the mix. Plans for the future include the development of a recycling plant for exclusive production of NextCupCycle resin that can be used to create a range of durable products such as cafeteria trays. This could be as soon as 2017, according to Kosior.

 

Search recyled resins in PT's Material Database. 

 

Strong Growth Projected for Wood-Plastic Composites Market

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 28. June 2016

North America held the largest share of the multi-billion dollar market in 2015.

 

I remember reporting on wood-plastic composites products, primarily weatherable decking, well over a decade ago when quality issues would steadily crop up. Not only has this market nicely matured with a broad spectrum of quality products, including decking, fencing, railing, trim and automotive parts, but its growth pattern is strong.

 

This according to a new study from India-based global market research firm MarketsandMarkets, “Wood Plastic Composite Market by Type (PE, PVC, PP,others), Application (Building & Construction Products, Automotive Components, Industrial & Consumer Goods, Others), Region (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, RoW)—Global Trends & Forecast to 2021.” Here are some of the study’s key highlights:

 

• The wood-plastic composites market is projected to reach $5.84 billion, at a compound annual growth rate of 12.4% for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021.

 

• North America accounted for the largest share of the wood-plastic composites market in 2015, followed by Asia-Pacific and Europe.

 

• North America is one of the globe’s major producers of wood-plastic composites. Increasing investment in infrastructure projects, followed by replacement of old housing infrastructure with advanced materials, are the key drivers in this region.

 

• Building & construction is the largest application of wood-plastic composites and constituted a major share of the total wood-plastic composite market by application in 2015. The growing demand for wood-plastic composites from this market segment is projected to drive the demand in coming years thanks to the superior performance benefits, durability, and low maintenance cost of these composites as compared to that of conventional materials.

 

• Polyethylene constitutes the largest wood-plastic composite type, capturing over half of the total wood-plastic composite market share in 2015 among type segments. The superior molecular structure and stability makes PE type wood-plastic composites a robust, high-performing material for applications, thus creating a healthy market demand for the same, says the M&M study.

 

The following are among some of the prominent players in the wood-plastic composites market identified by the study:

 

Trex Company, Inc. (U.S.)

Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies, Inc. (U.S.)

Universal Forest Products, Inc. (U.S.)

Fiberon, LLC (U.S.)

TAMCO Building Products, Inc. (U.S.)

TimberTech (U.S.)

Axion International, Inc. (U.S.)

Beologic N.V. (Belgium)

Certain Teed (U.S.)

Fkur Kunststoff GmbH (Germany)

Josef Ehrler GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)

Polymera, Inc. (U.S.)

Polyplank AB (Sweeden)

 

 

Look for more on wood-plastic composites in PT’s materials database or PT’s Wood & Natural Fiber Compound Zone; photo courtesy Lanxess.

 

Innovation On the Agenda at TCC Auto 2016

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 23. June 2016

Lots of new developments discussed including Covestro’s strategy to launch continuous reinforced PC sheet.

 

It was very gratifying to see full attendance, often at standing-room only, at each of the 22 presentations of our second “Thermoplastic Composites Conference for Automotive” (TCC Auto 2016), which covered topics in Applications, Materials, Machinery and Processes.

 

Held last week concurrently with the Amerimold 2016 show and conference in Novi, Mich., TCC Auto 2016 was presented by Plastics Technology and Composites World, sister publications within Gardner Business Media. It was moderated by my colleague, PT’s executive editor Matt Naitove and CW’s editor-in-chief Jeff Sloan, and I had the pleasure of helping a bit as well.

 

And, you can bet that there were new developments discussed, some of which have been reported on previously, but with significant updates on what is to come. This included news from Covestro, which is planning to launch a line of continuous reinforced glass and/or carbon fiber PC tape and sheet products within the next couple of years.

 

 In his excellent presentation, “Development in Continuous Fiber-Reinforced Thermoplastic Composites Using Polycarbonate”, Paul Platte, senior market manager, automotive & transportation at Covestro, elaborated on the company’s developments following its March 2015 acquisition of Germany’s Thermoplast Composite GmbH (TCG), and its technology, patents and facilities for continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastics. Here’s an update:

 

Covestro is now in the development stages and has been able to successfully produce 2-ft by 2-ft continuously reinforced fiber PC sheet for which consumer electronics and automotive applications are initial targets. But, in a brief chat with Platte earlier today, he noted that they are open to serving other markets. “One guy at the conference approached me and asked about drones,” he noted.

 

While automotive is the bigger target, Platte acknowledges that application development needs to start now. He foresees the first commercial use of the new continuous-fiber reinforced PC sheet and tape products emerging in 2018 for consumer electronics, and in the early 2020s for automotive.

 

Search for more on Covestro’s PC resins in PT’s materials database.

 

A Pre-K2016 Experience in Belgium

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 21. June 2016

EMG did a terrific job in bringing together some 25 trade press members to hear preliminary news from some key players of plastic materials and additives.

 

We were all at NPE2015 just last year and now K2016 is around the corner. But with each of the big shows I get even better ideas for shoes that will save my feet (e.g., minimalist Ninja-looking things) and allow me to get the latest news. Flip flops did the trick for my visit to Antwerp, Belgium when we were treated to a great walk-about town headed by a very scholarly local guide. So, I thought I’d share some photos, including one of the old churches, Antwerp harbor from above, and a Belgium chocolate shop to which you can bet I returned.

 

But, back to business. The Antwerp trip was organized by the international communications consultancy EMG, and it was one of several pre-K events that take place every three years just a few months before each K show. As members of the trade press, we have no clue beforehand how valuable such a press junket might turn out in terms of news generation. There were 25 of us from all over the world, and I would say we were generally very pleased with the outcome of the event.

EMG brought us together with four of their plastic materials clients—SABIC, DSM, Ascend Performance Polymers, and Polyscope; and two plastic additives clients—Songwon and Clariant. I am reporting on their “early” news of what attendees can expect to see at this big show for our September pre-K2016 issue. But, here is a teaser list:

 

SABIC will showcase materials and applications for several industries, from transportation to healthcare. Included is reportedly the first rear PC glazing window on a car and PEI filament for 3-D printing of aircraft prototypes. You’ll also find new ultra-clear PP, PC/ABS, carbon-fiber reinforced compounds, and PC sheet for the healthcare sector. SABIC also announced that it has entered into the polyolefin elastomer (POE) business with the development of Nexlene alphaolefins, joining less than a handful of dominant suppliers.

 

DSM will showcase the latest in what it claims to be the most extensive portfolio of high-temperature polymers, including a new product family of its 4T nylon for electronics and a new PPA family for high-performance automotive and electronics. DSM has also expanded its new Detroit R&D facility to further assist OEMs and Tier I suppliers of automotive and electronics.

 

Ascend Performance Polymers is now one of the world’s largest integrated producers of nylon 66 resin used in automotive cooling systems, interior and exterior systems, powertrain and underhood components. You can expect to see new high-flow and flame-retardant nylon 66 compounds for electronics, as well as new nylon 66 compounds for packaging, a market in which Ascend is making an entry.

 

Polyscope is the leading producer of styrene maleic anhydride (SMA) copolymers, sold under the tradename Xiran—the company’s business is about 75% compounds and 25% additives. Its specialty Xiran IZ terpolymers, launched in 2013, have been aimed at boosting the thermal performance of ABS and ASA. Now, Polyscope, has expanded the range of its heat booster additives to increase heat performance of other styrenics, such as PS and SAN, and PMMA. Also look for a new maleic anhydride grafted PP compound, that bridges the gap between PP and ABS for automotive applications. A new portfolio of additives that act as compatibilizers and coupling agents as well as chain extenders for both amorphous and semi-crystalline resins will also be launched.

 

Songwon is now the world’s largest suppliers of polymer stabilizers will highlights its complete portfolio of antioxidants and UV stabilizers in a full range of physical forms. It will also launch a new antioxidant specifically developed to boost the long-term thermal stability of short- and long-glass fiber reinforced PP used in interior automotive and is said to promote the molding of thinner and lighter weight components.

 

Clariant will feature a host of new pigments, additives and masterbatches that are said to enhance safety, sustainability and innovation in plastics. Included are a yellow pigments to replace lead chromates for consumer goods as well as an infrared transparent black for nylons, ABS, PC and other engineering resins; the latest addition of halogen-free flame retardant for E/E nylon goods; and UV additive masterbatches for polyolefin roofing sheets. Look also for the launch of new anti-counterfeit fluorescent-effect tagant technology for plastic components and packaging.

 

Search for nearly 100,000 grades of polymers on the Universal Selector by clicking here

 

Search for nearly 40,000 additives on the Universal Selector by clicking here




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