"In order to counteract man-made climate change and to achieve the goals agreed in the Paris Climate Agreement, a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is necessary. The plastics industry can and must make an important contribution to this. We will present our contribution to the specialised public at K 2022", says Thilo Stier, Global Sales Director & Innovation Manager at AKRO-PLASTIC. The companies of the Feddersen Group are aware of their responsibility and have set the goal of working in a climate-neutral manner according to Scope 1 and Scope 2 at all German locations by the end of 2025 at the latest. "In addition, many companies in the Feddersen Group have been certified according to ISCC PLUS, and AKRO-PLASTIC GmbH has also had certified according to REDcert²," adds Thilo Stier.
There are various starting points for CO2 reduction in the plastics industry. In addition to the selection of the materials themselves, the processing methods (e.g. foaming, 3D printing) or the component design (e.g. "Design for End of Life") can also have an influence on the sustainability of plastic components, both in the production and use phase as well as at the end of life of the components. AKRO-PLASTIC can support its customers in all these areas.
With the AKROMID® NEXT product line, the compounder offers a broad portfolio of biobased and biomass-balanced compounds. According to the company, the decisive advantage of NEXT materials over many recycled materials is the constant level of properties. In addition, bioplastics such as PA 6.9 or PA 5.10 offer better chemical resistance and lower water absorption compared to classic PA 6 or PA 6.6.
As a further highlight, the company will show its AKROLEN ® NEXT PP LGF, based on circular "frying-fat" polypropylene.
The use of biomass-balanced PP (based on cooking oil residues) in the long glass fibre-reinforced AKROLEN ® NEXT PP-H LGF 40 2 CI black (8569) offers a unique combination of sustainability and technical performance. In a jointly implemented project, the Ziehl-Abegg company has developed a fan wheel based on this new series to meet sustainability requirements. The base polymer used still has a negative CO2 footprint. As a finished compound AKROLEN® NEXT PP-H LGF 40 2 CI black (8569) the value is 0.5 kg CO2eqv/kg. Currently, this is a prototype of this series. Further tests are in progress.
An eye-catcher on the booth is the new Husqvarna FE 350 Rockstar Edition 2022 from KTM. Here, sustainable product solutions such as a hybrid brake disc protector based on a bio-based polyamide, manufactured with the innovative CONEXUS joining technology and a seat base with a bio-circular long glass fibre reinforced PP are presented. KTM is thus taking on a pioneering role and demonstrating that sustainability and performance are no longer a contradiction in terms. Just like the motto: high-tech meets sustainability (see picture 1). Besides bioplastics, there are other interesting possibilities to reduce the CO2 footprint of plastic components. According to the compounder, aliphatic polyketone (AKROTEK® PK) is ideally suited for use in highly stressed cooling circuits with water and glycol and also has a significantly lower CO2 footprint compared to the PA 6.6 or PPA materials used.
"Another approach to reducing the carbon footprint is offered by our PRECITE®-E range. For example, a 50% glass fibre reinforced PET can not only be a cheaper alternative to PPA or PA 6.6, but with 1.8 kg CO2eq/kg, our PRECITE® E GF 50 (7300) offers an almost 50% reduced CO2 footprint compared to the equivalent PA 6.6 GF 50" explains Thilo Stier.
The compounder is also presenting its new PPS portfolio at the K show.
The Cologne-based BIO-FED also provides solutions for reducing the carbon footprint as well as for waste reduction with biodegradable and biobased products. This also includes bioplastics with sustainable organic fillers such as cellulose, lignin or starch. The biomass-balanced M·VERA® polypropylene compounds, which are certified according to REDcert2 and ISCC PLUS, as well as the matching masterbatches AF-CirColor®, AF-CirCarbon® and AF-CirComplex®, manufactured by the sister company AF-COLOR and available through BIO-FED, also make an important contribution to this.
Most of the M·VERA® bioplastics are biodegradable compounds, lot of them are also partially to fully biobased. They are suitable for various different processing technologies such as blown film, injection moulding, extrusion and thermoforming. The range also includes a mulch film grade that is certified as soil degradable according to EN 17033. Suitable AF-Eco® color, carbon black and additive masterbatches are also offered for all biodegradable compounds.
The BIO-FED injection moulding portfolio includes products that cover a wide range of mechanical properties and can therefore be used for a broad spectrum of applications.
- Products with various stiffnesses of up to 8,300 MPa
- Tough compounds with an impact strength of up to 65kj/m2
- Elastic compounds with elongation values of 30-300 %
- Tensile strength up to 70 MPa
- HDT (B) up to almost 100 °C
"In addition, BIO-FED offers products with short processing times that are certified according to OK compost HOME or OK biodegradable SOIL. These compounds for injection moulding have similar cycle times to commercial polyolefins such as PP or PE, without the need for special machines or moulds. They can also be processed in moulds with conventional technologies such as hot and cold runners with the same performance and efficiency as standard plastics," explains Dr Stanislaw Haftka, Sales Director at BIO-FED. "Our high-HDT materials can also be used in applications with high heat resistance, e.g., for coffee capsules, reusable cutlery, dishwasher-safe tableware, etc., without the need to temper the end product," Haftka adds.
Extrusion and thermoforming
For extrusion and thermoforming, OK compost INDUSTRIAL certified products with different proportions of renewable content are offered. They have different mechanical properties that are individually tailor made for the specific application. In addition, they can be processed with standard equipment. The products can be processed into sheets, films, profiles or similar.
Thanks to its comprehensive know-how and the continuous expansion of production capacities, AF-COLOR is one of the leading manufacturers of technically high-quality masterbatches, carbon black and additive concentrates. A particular focus is on masterbatches for future-oriented and sustainable applications that support the circular economy.
"As a masterbatch manufacturer, there is an opportunity to influence the circular economy in a number of ways. First and foremost is the intention to avoid plastic waste, i.e., to keep the plastics in the cycle for as long as possible, following the Sustainable Design approach," says Dirk Schöning, Sustainability Director at AF-COLOR. "The recycling of plastics is to be taken as a measure when the described re-use approach is no longer applicable. In the packaging sector, this goal cannot be implemented for the time being, so the development and manufacture of products that optimally support recycling before, during and after the process is required here," adds Dirk Schöning.
AF-COLOR will be presenting its most relevant problem solutions at K 2022:
The first is AF-Carbon® IR - soot-free masterbatches for improved infrared detectability. The soot frequently used up to now (not only in black applications) leads to faulty detection of the packaging to be sorted in the recycling process. Soot-free formulations therefore increase the percentage of recyclability.
The AF-Complex® range offers several solutions to this problem with different additive batches. For example, a drying batch for an improved recycling process in different versions (standard and premium), suitable for film and injection moulded parts with a drying degree of up to 80 %, as well as a highly effective odour absorber, e.g., for sulphur and nitrogen components in recycled material, which is particularly suitable for recycled polyamide (PA) as well as polyolefins (PE and PP).
Effective crosslinkers, which significantly improve the processability of recycled PE and PA particularly by adapting the flow behaviour, additionally complement the portfolio. The coloring or over-coloring of PCR material has also gained in importance. With newly adjusted formulations and selected colorants, the masterbatch manufacturer manages to cover the sometimes strongly inherent color and new texture of the recycled substrates, so that almost any color target can be achieved.
In line with the mass-balanced compounds and the plastics industry's starting points for CO2 reduction, AF-COLOR is presenting the color and black masterbatches certified according to ISCC PLUS under the names AF-CirColor® and AF-CirCarbon®.
"In the event that plastics cannot adhere to the concept of a circular economy, it is important to have an alternative to reduce the burden on the environment," says Dirk Schöning. "The AF-Eco® masterbatch range offers the perfect solution here with biodegradable color and additive masterbatches."
As already mentioned, according to AKRO-PLASTIC, polyketone (PK) can also be an interesting way to reduce the CO2 footprint in addition to bioplastics. Here, too, AF-COLOR offers a suitable, technically high-quality product portfolio. For example, a color-stable and brilliant masterbatch according to RAL 2003.