A wide range of marketable biobased engineering materials such as PLA, Bio-PE, PA, PHB, etc., has become available by now and there is growing demand from the industry. But what is the exact performance range of bioplastics and how involved are the necessary modifications to the materials and in the production process, before they can be used as desired?
A wide range of marketable biobased engineering materials such as PLA, PE, PA, PHB, etc., has become available by now and there is growing demand from the industry. With regard to their production and economic efficiency, these materials are usually unaffected by international prices for fossil raw materials. Moreover, they respond to a growing concern of sustainability and ecology and thus present an alternative to the consumer and manufacturer. But what is the exact performance range of bioplastics and how involved are the necessary modifications to the materials and in the production process, before they can be used as desired?
These and other questions are most vital for the processing industry and thus received great attention at the symposium held by IfBB – Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites, and SKZ (Das Kunststoff-Zentrum), September 17-18, in Würzburg.
Basically, the participating practitioners were given a presentation of the first results from the collaborative project „Processing of Biobased Plastics and Establishment of a Competence Network within the FNR Biopolymer Network“, followed by contributions from the industry. The project is funded with a grant from the Federal Ministry of Nutrition and Agriculture (BMEL), administered by the Agency of Renewable Resources (FNR).
The symposium allowed enough time for extensive discussions and exchange among researchers, industry representatives and processors, on topics such as:
– Injection moulding process optimization: be it in dying materials, using demoulding additives to reduce cycle times, in multi-component moulding, or problems with weld line strength in bioplastics.
– PLA under scrutiny: where are the limits for PLA, which modifications are necessary to support the processing of PLA in blow film production, and how to control the barrier properties of PLA as packaging material in the food industry?
– Bioplastics gaining ground everywhere: fibre production, natural fibre reinforced components and blow moulds, including their respective marketing strategies.
So what is possible in bioplastics processing?
Basically, everything is possible, but not everything is efficient, sustainable and ecologically reasonable. The research results presented at the symposium confirm what is already technologically feasible and thus provide information needed by the practitioner to deal with future developments and take the first step to convert from conventional plastics to bioplastics. The most important aspect here is to modify the materials away from short-lived towards long-lived applications.
View the presentations at http://ifbb.wp.hs-hannover.de/veroeffentlichungen/ and please contact the project partner to receive additional and more targeted information: www.verarbeitungsprojekt.ifbb-hannover.de
Please visit IfBB at the FAKUMA Fair, scheduled October 14-18 in Friedrichshafen, hall A7, booth 7508. There will also be an injection moulding demonstration of dyed components.
IfBB – Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites
Hochschule Hannover – University of Applied Sciences
Phone 0049 (0)511-9296-2278