Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Bioplastic Reinforced With Natural Fibres

17.04.2003


Finland Leads Europe In The Development Of Biodegradable Plastics



VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland, has made degradable bioplastic more durable due to reinforcement with natural fibres. This biocomposite, which is totally biodegradable, supports sustainable development. The waste costs for products made from this will be small, and in the future consumers will have an enhanced appreciation of biodegradability of materials.

VTT achieved this biocomposite using flax fibres to reinforce bioplastic. VTT also developed a method by which the properties of the completely biodegradable biocomposite can be tailored according to the projected use of the product. It is a further advantage that the new bioplastic products can be manufactured on the same machinery on which conventional plastic products which are only partially biodegradable are manufactured.


The spearhead in the development of such flax reinforced completely biodegradable products has been in Finland, Sweden and the USA. VTT research succeeded in creating the desired mechanical strengths for bioplastic through an appropriate combination of bioplastic raw material and flax. The research also explored the resistance of the new biocomposite to heat, moisture and UV radiation, and further developed the manufacturing process.

Fibreglass has traditionally been used to reinforce plastics. This is difficult to recycle and there may be health hazards involved in handling it. In central Europe the car manufacturing industry especially uses flax fibres for reinforcement, but mixed with non-biodegradable plastic raw material.

“Our company acquired knowledge suggesting that it would be good to continue working on product development and research in order to bring new, biodegradable materials onto the markets. One year ago an EU norm was set for bioplastic, and in the next few years compostible packages are to come onto the markets of southern Europe. Finland is the leader in Europe for completely biodegradable bioplastic. Much of the credit is due to TEKES and its biopolymer programme,” says Anders Södergård, technology manager of the Dutch company Hycail and part-time professor of applied biomaterial sciences at the University of Turku.

The research work on biocomposites led by VTT was financed by TEKES, several companies and VTT. The companies specified the desired properties for bioplastic and the research work was accomplished chiefly by VTT, Tampere University of Technology, Åbo Akademi University and Hycail. Hycail has a pilot factory for lactic acid based bioplastic raw material producing 400 tons of raw material a year.

Paula Haapanen | alfa

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air
26.04.2017 | University of Central Florida

nachricht Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics
25.04.2017 | University of Delaware

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>