Laurel BioComposite has completed its first continuous 30-day production run at its new pilot plant manufacturing 90,000 lbs. of Bio-Res for customer trials slated for December 2011 and January 2012. According to Laurel, the material will be shipped for pelletizing into master batches that contain 80 percent Bio-Res and 20 percent binder. They say the master batches allow injection moulders to easily insert the pellets directly into injection moulding machines to complete parts with 20 to 40 percent bio-material.
“We’ve demonstrated the quality of the Bio-Res material and the plant’s capability to maintain production,” says Tim Bearnes, President of the Board for Laurel BioComposite. “As a result the company is on schedule to break ground in the spring for a master batch pellet plant with the capacity to produce 48 million lbs. of Bio-Res PE annually.”
Laurel say that pilot plant engineers used the 30-day production run to fine-tune mass flows and gather operation data. “Experience with the microwave dryer also has provided useful intelligence to help optimize drying techniques for the full scale plant,” says Bearnes. “With the data we’ve gathered we expect design and construction costs for the master batch plant to remain within or below original projections.” According to Bearnes the pilot plant has been placed on standby while its technical team meets with customers who want to use Bio-Res pellets in test trials.
Laurel explain that Bio-Res PE is available in an odourless pellet form which blends easily with polyethylene, polypropylene, polylactic acid and PHA. They say Bio-Res pellets are made of 60 to 80 percent bio-material and sold as a master batch. Superior flow characteristics make the material unique in the bio-additive market for thermoplastics. Bio-Res is especially suited for use in a range of industries including shipping, lawn and garden, agriculture and automotive applications.
Source: Netcomposites.com, 2012-01-03.