Bioplastics Award 2012
 

Bioplastics Award 2012 - The finalists

bioplastics MAGAZINE presented the 7th Bioplastics Award.

The five finalists were:

Full Circle Design: Presentation and promotion system Clps [’klıps]

The flexible and modular presentation and promotion system Clps [’klıps] is variable and universally applicable at the point of sale, for sales campaigns, presentations, shop designs and fairs.

The extruded profiles are made of grass fibre reinforced plastic (PP) with a content of natural fibres of about 70%. They offer better mechanical properties than WPC. After use Full Circle Design offer to take them back and either refurbish them or recycle them in close cooperation with their raw material supplier. This supplier generates his energy in an own AD plant (biogasification) in kind of a biorefinery concept.

The textile is a woven PLA fabric, and after return is being chemically recycled in cooperation with Galactic. Thin pipes for fastening the PLA-textile to the frame are made of a biodegradable elastomer.

The whole concept is based on renewable raw materials and a full take-back and recycle system.


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TAKATA AG: Bioplastic steering wheel and airbag showcase project

The proposed ‘showcase’ (German word is ‘Demonstrator’, is a complete real steering wheel system) was developed to present the possibilities and limits of using biobased plastics in such sensitive products like airbags and steering wheels. To achieve an integrated solution the available biopolymers were benchmarked according the requirements and the most promising materials were chosen. After this the components were tested according the specifications of the automotive industry to verify the material limits in steering wheels and airbags. Some of the components were already approved according to these specifications, others are underway. For certain applications the specifications of the automotive industry might have to be modified, without sacrificing the safety of course. But the haptic and optic requirements of the foam and plastic parts around the steering wheel could for example be slightly adapted in order to align biobased material properties to part specification.
Due to this project Takata illustrate their competence to develop biobased steering wheels and airbags and support their customers to define the technical limits of biopolymers.


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Green Dot Holdings, new compostable thermoplastic elastomer

GDH-B1 is a new compostable thermoplastic elastomer, made from >50% renewable plant based ingredients (starch). The bioplastic meets ASTM D6400 and EN 13432 standards for compostability. The material has been found to biodegrade even in a home composting environment in a matter of months. GDH-B1 has been tested and verified by NSF International to be free from phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), lead and cadmium, and meets child product safety standards in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
GDH-B1 offers a range of physical attributes comparable to petroleum based thermoplastic elastomers. The material is strong and pliable with an exquisite soft touch. The characteristics of the bioplastics provide excellent performance in fabrication and can be used with existing manufacturing equipment in the majority of plastic processing applications including, injection molding, profile extrusion, blow molding, blown film and lamination.
Green Dot’s soft plastic phone case, The BioCase™ is already successful on the market. Fort Collins, Colorado toymaker, BeginAgain Toys is also introducing Green Dotʼs toxin free compostable elastomeric bioplastic to parents and children with two products, “Scented Scoops,” an imaginative ice cream play set and the Green Ring teether. The toys have received accolades for their creative design and sustainable materials.

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IfBB – Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites: Biobased tailgate of a racing car

The biobased tailgate of the ‘Bioconcept’-racing car is the first step to convert as many parts into biobased plastic parts as possible. The focus lies on the development of sustainable parts for the automobile industry as well as the change towards a ready-for-the-future mobility.
The tailgate, which was already made from natural fibre reinforced petroleum-based resins, is now being produced from linen (flax fibres) and an epoxy resin made from renewable resources. The amount of biobased components in the resin is currently at 45%, and IfBB is constantly researching ways to increase this ratio with regard to the material performance. The flax fibres are woven in a special twill-weave that allows the textile to be draped into the desired 3D-shapes. Currently still hand-laminated, as there are only a few parts needed for the racing car, IfBB is certainly also evaluating series production methods such as RTM and injection moulding of thermoplastic natural fiber reinforced biocomposites for the mass production of such parts.
Other components (existing, under development or planned) include doors, hood, underbody (diffusor,) front-end (diffusor), mirror cover caps, various technical boxes, tank cap, covering of steering column, lamp housings and more.

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Livemold Trading: ‘bioline’ indestructible sandbox toys including a unique end-of-life concept 

The latest product line ‘bioline’ by Martin Fuchs GmbH comprises among other items, a series of ‘indestructible’ sandbox toys. The material is a (>70% biobased) blend from PLA and other components (made by Linotech, Waldenburg, Germany and Livemold, Breitungen, Germany), which makes the products 100% biodegradable. “Not exactly compostable,” as Martin Vollet, Technical Manager of Martin Fuchs points out.” But composting is not the targeted end of life. At least, these toys will never be found by archaeologists.” For the end of life, this toy manufacturer has a very special solution. They ask consumers to send back their old toys, rather than dispose them. Fuchs promise to recycle even the oldest and dirtiest toys. This is possible by applying a special 2-component injection molding technology. Here the post-consumer scrap is injected as a core material in a 2-layer structure. The outer layer is beautifully colored virgin material.
The use of plastics based on renewable raw materials in combination with taking back and further processing of the old toys is exemplary and helps to conserve resources of our environment. The use of the 2K-technology (monosandwich) plays a leading role in the processing of biopolymers. The biopolymer is in looks and feeling, in noise and sound behavior equivalent to normal plastics. 

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The winner will be announced during the 7th European Bioplastics Conference in Berlin/Germany on 6th November, 2012