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ENGINEERING PLASTICS | MATERIALS


A wealth of new materials have been launched by engineering thermoplastics suppliers, some with sustainability in mind and others that push performance boundaries. Peter Mapleston reports


Extending limits for ETPs


The European Commission’s adoption of its Circular Economy Action Plan in March was the latest evidence — if more was needed — that sustainability in now a critical consideration for all manufacturing sectors. The plastics industry is prime among them, so it is no surprise to see that suppliers of engineering thermoplastics are putting a special emphasis on sustainability issues in their latest product introductions. That focus shows itself in many ways, ranging from use of renewable mate- rials and recycled content through to in-service benefit claims (such as fuel and emission savings due to lighter weight). During last year’s K show in Germany Covestro


presented a recent concept for post-consumer recycled (PCR) polycarbonate waste and its use in the electronics industries. “Polycarbonate is far too valuable to be disposed of after just one use,” says Kayla Wu, marketing manager for electronics applications for Covestro polycarbonates in the Asia-Pacific region. The closed material cycle it presented began


with production of transparent polycarbonate at Covestro, which was then supplied to a manufac- turer of five-gallon water bottles, the bottles delivered to a water supplier, where they were filled then sent on to consumers. According to Covestro, each bottle can be reused for up to 50 times then, at the end-of-life, is returned to the bottle manufacturer via the water producer using


www.compoundingworld.com


the same value and supply chain. The bottles are then shredded, cleaned and sorted. The quality of the post-consumer recyclate is checked and granulates produced then used by Covestro to produce a polycarbonate blend for OEMs manu- facturing products such as laptops, copiers, printers, mobile chargers for smartphones and other electronic devices. Covestro says this closed concept offers significant advantages over previous recycling approaches for thermoplastics. “The collection and material sorting of post-consumer products has often been a challenge in the past,” it says. “Fluc- tuations in quality have also often stood in the way of effective and economical recycling. However, all partners can benefit from the new concept and the business model behind it.”


Main image: With a high weld strength and long-term temperature resistance up to 230˚C, Ascend’s Vydyne XHT performs well in under-hood parts like integrated air intake manifolds





Left: Covestro says PCR polycarbonate can be blended and used by OEMs


manufacturing products such as laptops


May 2020 | COMPOUNDING WORLD 53


PHOTO: COVESTRO


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