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Development and characterisation of eco-friendly thermoplastics

The project goal is to develop eco-friendly thermoplastics as a composite of polymers and natural fibres like wood, flax, jute, etc. The application guidelines will describe parts properties and injection moulding process parameters.

With an expanding world population and parallel with the increase in their purchasing potentials, the need for materials to satisfy demand on the world market is rapidly growing. In times when we cannot expect polymer prices to be reduced, but consumption is still growing, we need to develop new materials that would be cheaper and at the same time offer equal or better properties. The oil supply is getting smaller every day and the pressure to become more independent from oil derivatives is at an all-time high, therefore there are multiple reasons to maximise the use of renewable resources. On the other hand we have enough natural resources like wood, flax, hemp, jute, etc. For these reasons a big challenge arises namely to make completely new types of composite materials by combining different resources. One of the biggest new areas of research in this field is in combining natural fibres with thermoplastics. The research objective will therefore combine two or more resources in such a way that a synergism between components results in a new material which is much better than any of the individual components. Usage of natural resources in the polymer industry does not only assure regular supplies but it also helps to stimulate economic development. Appropriate fusion is a palletized compound suitable for injection moulding and extrusion process. Such a material also reduces environmental impacts because it is simpler to recycle. A patent protection for the results arising from this project will be applied for. Keywords: polymer, eco-friendly, injection moulding.
Acronym: 
ECOPLAST
Project ID: 
2 819
Start date: 
30-09-2002
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
2 200 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Composite materials
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.