Biodegradable materials with improved thermal resistance.
AIMPLAS has broad experience in polymeric materials processing. Furthermore, we have been involved in different R&D projects related to modification of polymer properties as thermal resistance.
An example of this is BIOFIBROCAR project (funded within the scope of the 7th European Framework Programme). In this project we have explored the feasibility of substituting the polyester (PET) and polypropylene (PP) fibres currently applied in car interiors, by PLA-based fibres. The main limitation of conventional PLA is the thermal resistance: PLA softens at a temperature around 52ºC, which limits its use in applications that require temperature resistance under pressure and conditions of environmental and chemical stress. Throughout the project AIMPLAS has developed a compound that is able to fulfil the requirements for automotive interior applications, including such aspects as thermal resistance, fogging, odour emissions, VOCs and antimicrobial resistance.
The PLA blend formulation and the processing conditions were key factors that determined the performance of the materials. It proved possible to increase the softening temperature from 57ºC to 102ºC, without compromising the viscosity of the material, which could then be processed by extrusion melt spinning in order to obtain the fibers.
These fibers were successfully converted into fabrics and non-woven samples in order to obtain a final prototype of a moulded door panel. Two non-woven layers and a woven fabric were combined into a composite consisting of 100% bio-based material.
AIMPLAS is offering it's know-how in the development of fibers with improved thermal properties in order to combine with the new technology for production of 3D-fibre formed parts for acoustic and thermal insulation.
Contact person: Mrs Amparo Verdú (firstname.lastname@example.org)