Processing of Biopolymers
Conventional plastics continue to be further optimised, even though they have gone through decades of research and today are found in almost all areas of life. Bioplastics, on the other hand, are rather new materials with a great potential and steadily increasing demand. While demand is rising, however, we see a widening gap between information that is available and information that is actually needed on the processing of these innovative materials.
Three years ago, the four project partners
- IfBB - Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites at the Hochschule Hannover – University of Applied Sciences and Arts
- IAP - Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research,
- SKZ - The Plastics Centre and
- SLK - Department of Lightweight Structures and Polymer Technology at Chemnitz University of Technology
joined forces to analyse the use of bioplastics in practical applications and eventually to remove the existing information deficits regarding processing methods. As a result, an online database was established in which the practitioner can find information for just under 100 bio-based plastics on diverse processing methods. It includes data on compounding and injection moulding, deep drawing, fibre reinforcement, extrusion blow moulding and flat film production, furthermore data on welding and joining techniques, flow properties, dyeability and much more.
The database provides free and unrestricted access for any interested user. It can be searched by type of material or by procedure. An initial rough assessment comparing data on bioplastics with directly competing conventional plastics can be obtained from a sort of traffic light system. This system is also stored with retrievable detailed information.