Covestro Introduces New Products Made from Recycled Plastics at Formnext Connect
These products seek to contribute to help the 3D printing industry to become more circular.
This shoe insole was printed by selective laser sintering from a partially bio-based thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) by Covestro.
During the virtual trade fair Formnext Connect 2020 (November 10-12), Covestro will present products entirely dedicated to the circular economy. This includes products made from alternative raw materials, such as recycled plastics and CO₂-based cardyon brand products, which the company says will contribute to the development of the 3D printing industry to become more circular.
Covestro will also provide an outlook to a range of Addigy materials for common 3D printing processes at Formnext Connect. The developments will be presented in an interactive expert session in the virtual Covestro studio on November 10, starting at 11:00 a.m.
"Nowadays, superior manufacturing technologies are no longer enough to produce truly sustainable products," says Patrick Rosso, global head of additive manufacturing at Covestro. "We want to boost the circularity of our products while preserving their excellent properties. That's why we are currently developing new, more sustainable products which are already in the testing phase."
These include pellets and filaments made of partially recycled plastics. Some of the raw materials for the recycled plastics are post-industrial waste from Covestro's manufacturing facilities and can be used as filaments for 3D printing after reworking. One of the products developed from recycled plastic is a polycarbonate blend and, like other polycarbonate-based materials, is suitable for applications that require a high temperature resistance.
Equally promising as building blocks for sustainable 3D printing products are polyols of the cardyon brand, in which CO₂ replaces some of the petrochemical raw materials previously used. These can for example be used to produce thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU), which can be used as powders or filaments in additive manufacturing.
In addition, Covestro is currently developing partially bio-based products for 3D printing, in which almost 50% of the carbon content is derived from biomass. One such material has already been used to print a shoe insole using selective laser sintering (SLS).
Polypropylene (PP) shortages have forced many processors to move to lower grade resins at the cost of lower performance and processability. Milliken’s DeltaMax Performance Modifiers upgrade these materials to enhance impact resistance, melt flow rates, and sustainability through the use of more recycled material.
One of the more unusual aspects of the sustainability drive in the plastics industry (see NPE Sustainability article this month) is the way giant beverage companies are taking an active role in spurring development of biobased plastics for bottles.
Companies promote their sustainability commitment in various ways, but beneath the promises and promotional materials should be a true corporate commitment to sustainability goals that provide meaningful environmental, economic, and social benefits.