NPE2018 New Technology Focus: Bioplastics & PCR Engineered Compounds
New formulations target more demanding applications in automotive, electronics and more.
Emerging applications such as office furniture, kitchen cabinets, bathroom toilets, sinks and lids, as well as automotive applications for a new engineering bioplastic are being featured by Eastman Chemical Co. (Room S230D). Last year, the company launched Treva, an engineering bioplastic that falls in the family of cellulose acetate propionate (CAP) but boasts a significantly higher heat deflection temperature (HDT) than standard CAP, making it more dimensionally stable and creep resistant.
Also key are low birefringence for excellent optical performance in electronic displays, and excellent flow characteristics which enable design freedom, allowing Treva to be used with complicated parts and in filling thin walls. It is said to be ideal for structural applications with good aesthetics – from kitchen walls to home and office furniture, and durable for daily wear and tear. It can also address the needs of automotive interior designers seeking curved surfaces and shapes. Excellent chemical resistance and ability to withstand contact with skin oils and sunscreens make it suitable for bathroom toilets and eyeglass frames, respectively.
Total Corbion PLA (S35085) is highlighting its Luminy PLA portfolio for the Americas. Included are a range of high-heat, high-performance crosslinked PLA homopolymer resins—PLLA & PDLA, which are targeted to applications requiring durability and/or high-heat resistance. Visitors will see several commercial applications including coffee capsules, tea bags, heat-stable IBM bottles, and a thermoformed black food platter that has a ‘stone-look, slate appearance thanks to its surface shape.
Wellman Advanced Materials (S12189) is emphasizing its integrated operations that have made it a global supplier of nylon, TPO, PP resins, and PET fibers for the automotive, lawn and garden, consumer products, and electronics industries as well as one of the long-time leaders in “green” manufacturing due to high levels of post-consumer recycle (PCR) content. Materials that meet OEMs’ expectations launched within the last year include: EcoLon 3100-BK1, a PCR nylon 6, boasting superior flow and performance properties and better cost efficiency vs. current EcoLon 2100 for use in automotive parts like fan shrouds. The EcoLon GFT3040-BK1, a first-of-its-kind impact-modified PCR nylon 6 with superior low-temperature impact, minimum CLTE (coefficient of linear thermal expansion) and HDT (heat deflection temperature). It boasts comparable performance to a virgin nylon 6 with significant cost savings and sustainability. And the EcoLon 1619-BK3GB, a 20% glass fiber/mineral reinforced PCR nylon 6 is said to offer a 19% weight reduction yet is comparable in cost and performance with equivalent virgin grades.
Techmer, Clinton, Tenn. (S27015) is highlighting its collaborative project with plastics recycler Envision Plastics Industries, Primal Group, and bottle blow molder Classic Containers, to overcome the challenges related to creating a compound from 100% reclaimed, ocean-bound plastics that would process successfully into a personal-care bottle with a silver metallic, pearlescent-effect finish. Using its proprietary dispersion technology, Techmer PM was able to successfully meet Primal Group’s requirements for a specific color and reflective finish on the bottle, for its plant-science-inspired, personal-care range called ViTA.
Instead of going to landfills, previously unusable mixed waste like auto shredder residue is yielding a new trove of inexpensive engineering resins for car parts. Sortation technologies derived from the mining industry can pull out usable ABS, PC, acrylic, PP, TPO, and PPO alloys.
While the nylon 66 tightness may not prove long-lasting, resin suppliers, compounders, and distributors have mobilized to offer processors an array of ‘replacement’ materials.
PolySource, for one, has been preparing for this with alternatives it offers. How big is this concern? Who’s working on solutions, including alternative offerings?