Trifilon claims its natural fibre reinforced BioLite PPC compounds now compete well with traditional offerings

these we can increase the bio content of the material and decrease the density. Typical applica- tion field is the extrusion like decking, but we also have projects with the injection of hunting bullet holders,” says Kugler. The second option is wood fibre-filled polymers. “Using this fibre we can increase the mechanical properties of the material, like flexural modulus, and decrease the density,” he says. “In this case the fibre content is 10-40% because at a content over 40% the fibres interfere with each other and decrease the properties. It is popular in the automotive industry because the mechanical properties are close to glass-fibre filled grades.” The company’s third is special polymers filled

Image: Trifilon UPM describes Formi EcoAce as a drop-in

solution. “It can smoothly replace fossil-based solutions as it is identical in quality and perfor- mance to non-renewable alternatives,” the com- pany says. The biocomposite is said to be near 100% based on renewable resources. Ralf Ponicki, Director of the UPM Formi business

at UPM Biocomposites, says: “After successful pilots, we are now looking forward to start offering our new biocomposite to business partners around the world.” Typical end-use applications include food contact products, personal care and consum- er goods made by injection moulding or extrusion. UPM Formi EcoAce is described as warm and silky to the touch and can be produced in different colours, including both light and dark shades. Following the UPM Formi EcoAce development,

Right: This electric-pow- ered cooler by Dometic is made using Trifilon’s BioLite, a

biocomposite derived from hemp that gives it an attractive flecked finish

Ponicki says the company is now working on a UPM Formi FibCo concentrate, which will contain 90% or more fibre content. “We are in the final develop- ment phase right now and want to commercially launch UPM Formi FibCo next year. The concen- trate would give compounders the possibility to develop their own products based on natural fibres and expand their portfolio accordingly. There are plenty of new opportunities for compounders to expand towards more sustainable products and position their solutions into automotive as well as the consumer market.” Hungary’s Inno-Comp is also working in this

area. The compounder has a decade of experience in product developments with compounds contain- ing natural fillers and reinforcements, according to sales engineer Balázs Kugler, who says it currently offers three options. The first option is based on cellulose-powder filled polymers. “These are classic fillers: using


with agro-industrial residues such as nutshell, apricot, or almond shells. “The filler is also our speciality, we developed a process to mill it and a special preparation to be ready for our compound production,” says Kugler. “We can fill thermoplas- tics with up to 70% filler, not only in ready-to-use compound but masterbatch too. Currently prod- ucts are available for injection moulding. It is not only for commodities but also specialities like PLA, to get 100% bio-solutions. This filler also reduces the price of the compound. PLA has a really high price and problems with availability nowadays.” Applications under development at Inno-Comp

partners include cutlery, cosmetic cream jars, flower-pots, food trays and containers, and special- ity products such as a nasal aspirator for babies. Interest in the NAFILean range of hemp-filled compounds for production of automotive structural parts continues to grow, according to APM, which is a joint venture between automotive Tier One Faurecia and agricultural cooperative Interval. The company says the compounds, which contain 20%


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