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 Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells
11.12.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires
07.12.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Midwife and signpost for photons

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems

11.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>