Another polycarbonate major, Mitsubishi Engineering Plastics, says it is receiving more and more requests for recycled content in compounds, including grades for high end products such as laptop computers, as well as for sockets and power distribution components. It also offers grades with post-industrial and post-consumer recyclate coming from products such as large water bottles. Its Xander products, for example, contain 30 or 50% PCR.

Bio-polycarbonate Mitsubishi also offers a bio-based polycarbonate, Durabio, derived from plant-based isosorbide. It is said to offer better clarity than conventional polycarbonates made from bisphenol A, as well as has higher scratch resistance. The company says it considers the material to effectively represent a new material category. It enables production of parts with high surface properties without the need for painting. For example, it is said to be possible to achieve piano black surfaces straight from the mould. Any solid colour can be achieved, and the resin also has good resistance to UV radiation and chemicals. SABIC also now has a polycarbonate based on a

certified-renewable feedstock. This is a tall oil, which can be used as a feedstock in the company’s crackers. Tall oil is a by-product of the Kraft process of wood pulp manufacturing from mainly conifer- ous trees. The PC is around 60% bio-based, determined using the mass balance concept. It is said to provide a reduction in carbon footprint of up to 50% and has a fossil depletion reduction potential of up to 35%. SABIC says the new PC will be produced initially at its manufacturing facilities in Bergen op Zoom in the Netherlands, and it plans to make it globally available. A new addition to SABIC’s conventional PC and PC blend line is Xenoy HTX, which is aimed at crash absorbers, body-in-white components and struc- tural reinforcements. The company says it has just

Parts designed with honeycomb or “top hat” structures in SABIC’s unfilled Xenoy HTX can absorb significant energy and withstand plastic deformation in the event of a crash. An impact test of two parts, after they had been run through the e-coat car body coating process, demonstrates the material’s high degree of energy absorption over a wide temperature range. The upper part (right) was tested at -30°C and shows good ductility and energy absorption compared with the lower part tested at room temperature


closed its first application for the PC/PBT blend, which is said to be ductile down to -30°C while also able to resist e-coat oven temperatures. Xenoy HTX is available in unfilled and glass-filled

grades. It offers significant weight savings com- pared to steel and aluminium, SABIC says, and can provide a drop-in alternative for PA66 compounds and alloys. The unfilled resin is modified to absorb significant energy and withstand plastic deforma- tion in the event of a crash so the company is targeting the material for use as a lightweight metal replacement solution in new safety applications, including side rockers designed to offer protection for battery modules mounted to the floor of EVs.

Structural gains SABIC has demonstrated the structural lightweight- ing capabilities of the new technology with a 3D printed prototype of a rocker panel reinforcement incorporating a honeycomb structure designed for EV battery side protection. It says such hybrid honeycomb designs with the Xenoy HTX com- pound have the potential to save up to 60% of the weight normally associated with traditional multi- piece steel or extruded aluminium crash counter- measures, without compromising on dimensional stability, rigidity and mechanical strength. Some 15% of the engineering thermoplastic


market will be catered for by either bio-based or recyclate-based materials by 2030, according to DSM. It says its ambition is to have a bio-based or recyclate-based alternative for every product in its range by that time (with the aim to have at least a 25% bio/recyclate content). “The portfolio of sustainable alternatives will leverage a toolbox of different technologies and approaches such as fermentation, mechanical recycling and mass balance accounting of bio-based and/or chemi- cally recycled feedstock,” says the company. Moving towards this goal, DSM has launched bio-based grades in its Arnitel TPE-E and Stanyl polyamide 46 portfolios. Joost d’Hooghe, Vice President Polyamides at DSM Engi- neering Plastics, says they will deliver the same functional performance as its conventional portfolio. “This will enable our customers to easily shift to a more sustainable solution without having to requalify materials,” he says. The new Stanyl grades are already available with the globally-recognised sustainability certification ISCC Plus. The C4-based part of the polymer is bio-based; like SABIC, DSM is currently using tall oil as a feedstock.

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