Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Metal-replacing High Heat-resistant PA

At the 21st Plastic Materials Congress, entitled “Chiedilo alla Plastica” [Turn to Plastics], held on 17 November in Varese, Italy, RadiciGroup Performance Plastics introduced its latest innovation, a new blow-molding-grade polyamide capable of standing up to continuous exposure to hot air at temperatures of up to 230°C. 

The material was developed for, and in collaboration with, Röchling Automotive. Such a high level of heat resistance opens up new opportunities in the metal replacement field, where parts are subjected to severe environmental conditions.

Polyamide Engineering Thermoplastics

The new material belongs to RadiciGroup’s RADILON® range of polyamide engineering thermoplastics, products that have a wide variety of uses in the automotive, electrical/electronics, industrial goods and consumer goods sectors.

The RADILON® range includes both traditional formulations and, as in the case of the Röchling Automotive partnership project, specialties with high innovative content, such as polyamides for continuous operation at high temperatures, materials specifically designed for metal replacement applications and materials featuring excellent resistance to chemical agents.

New High Heat-resistant Polyamide

The new product is a copolymer with a semi-aromatic component, which, in combination with other additives used to retard the thermal oxidation process, endows the material with very high heat resistance properties. Furthermore, the formulation ensures high melt strength and good blow-moldability.

Tests & Trials

  • Trials and validation tests performed in the Röchling Automotive laboratories have allowed for quantifying some of the advantages of the new product:
  • Weight reduction: 15%
  • Reduced energy consumption in production: 5-7% (lower process and mold temperature)
  • Less expensive molds (molds last longer thanks to the lower abrasion of PA compared to PPS)
  • Enhanced impact resistance compared to PPS (Charpy un-notched impact strength at 23°C: + 72%; Charpy notched impact strength at 23°C: + 52%).

Polyamide Plastic for Automotive Industry

For the automotive industry – where there is a very clear trend towards smaller but more powerful engines, lower CO2 emissions, longer vehicle useful life and less under-the-bonnet space –, the new PAs must be designed to provide good heat resistance at high temperatures, good processability and competitive pricing.

The know-how acquired by RadiciGroup Performance Plastics in the field of polyamide engineering plastics and its synergistic collaboration with the RadiciGroup Chemicals Business Area, enables the compounder to take on these challenges and offer concrete solutions to the market demand for innovation, customization, flexibility and performance. 

Commenting on the collaboration with Röchling Automotive to develop turbo air pipes to be used by a major car manufacturer, Erico Spini, Marketing and Application Development Director Europe of RadiciGroup Plastics, stressed that:
“collaboration and continual interaction with our customers give rise to customized products that are unique and able to ensure the best performance and best characteristics for any specific application need”.

Marco Barbolini, intake systems project manager of Röchling Automotive, expressed his satisfaction with the RadiciGroup Performance Plastics partnership: 
“We are very satisfied, because we found RadiciGroup to be an excellent partner in the development of a new material which fills a gap in the market offering and combines high performance characteristics with high heat resistance, while maintaining the good processability that is typical of polyamides.”

Source: RadiciGroup

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Total/Corbion Form 50:50 Joint Venture for Bioplastics Development

 Total and Corbion have joined forces to develop bioplastics by creating a 50/50 joint venture to produce and market polylactic (PLA) polymers. The two partners plan to build a world-class PLA polymerization plant with a capacity of 75,000 tons per year at Corbion's site in Thailand that already has a lactide (PLA monomer) production unit that will become part of the joint venture. Corbion will supply the lactic acid necessary for the production of the PLA and the lactide.

Total/Corbion – Bioplastic JV

The new company will be based in the Netherlands and will launch operations in the 1st quarter of 2017, subject to regulatory approvals.

Bernard Pinatel, President of Total Refining & Chemicals, commented:
“I’m very pleased with this joint venture, which aims to become a major player in the growing bioplastics market. This investment is consistent with our One Total ambition of expanding in biofuels and bioplastics, in addition to our more traditional oil- and gas-based products. Corbion’s unique position in the lactic acid and biopolymers value chain makes it a natural choice for Total. The joint venture will allow us to supply an innovative material that is 100% renewable and biodegradable and that responds to sustainability concerns.”

Tjerk de Ruiter, CEO of Corbion, stated: 
“PLA is one of the first renewable, biodegradable polymers able to compete with existing polymers. The joint venture, which will combine Total’s technical and marketing knowledge and leading position in polymers with Corbion’s expertise in lactic acid and biopolymers, will enable us to supply innovative products and will accelerate market acceptance.”

PLA Bioplastic

PLA is a biobased, biodegradable polymer obtained by fermenting renewable resources (sugar or starch) to produce lactic acid. 
PLA is mainly used for food packaging, disposable tableware and textiles, as well as in numerous other industries such as oil and gas, electronics, automotive and 3D printing.
PLA is a fast-growing polymer market segment, with an estimated average annual growth rate of 10 to 15% to 2025.