Fiber Concentrates for Bioplastics

Bottles and Containers

Bottles and containers made from fiber concentrate provide functional characteristics that support a range of uses while providing a lower carbon footprint for sustainability. Increased impact resistance of up to 5X, up to 200% elongation at break, and increased barrier properties can be achieved.

Our patent pending technology also provides substantial boosts in HDT providing the potential for hot-filling.

fiber concentrate bottles and containers are suitable for natural products, pharmaceuticals, household goods and personal care products, including supplement capsules, dietary powders, vitamin tablets, lotions, detergents, soaps, shampoos, detergent, cold- ll liquids and other dry goods.

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The market demand for caps and closures in the U.S. is expected to grow 4.2 percent per year to $11.8 billion in 2020. The bulk of this growth is expected to come from the growing use of high value dispensing and child-resistant closures (CRCs). Lightweighting will continue to be a driving factor to keep material prices low.

fiber concentrate’s ability to add impact resistance and elongation characteristics at low add in rates can allow manufacturers to take lightweighting to the next level.

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Thin Films and Coatings

The manufacture of plastic film for products such as shopping bags and continuous sheeting is achieved using a blown film line. Fiber concentrate compounds have successfully run on blown film lines.

In plastic coatings the plastic is used to improve functions such as water resistance, tear strength, abrasion resistance, ability to be heat sealed, etc.Some papers a laminated by heat or adhesive to a plastic film to provide barrier properties in use. Other papers are coated with a melted plastic layer: curtain coating is one common method.Printed papers commonly have a top coat of a protective polymer to seal the print, provide scuff resistance, and sometimes gloss. Some coatings are processed by UV curing for stability. The most notable applications for plastic-coated paper are single use disposable food packages including liquid packaging board for milk and juice folding cartons, hot and cold paper drinking cups, paper plates, frozen food containers, plastic-lined paper bags, take-out containers, and multi use waterproof paper.

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Rigid Films

Fiber concentrate can be sheet extruded at varying thicknesses and thermoformed. Thermoforming is a manufacturing process where a plastic sheet is heated to a pliable forming temperature, formed to a specific shape in a mold, and trimmed to create a usable product. The sheet, or “film” when referring to thinner gauges and certain material types, is heated in an oven to a high-enough temperature that permits it to be stretched into or onto a mold and cooled to a finished shape. Its simplified version is vacuum forming. Thin-gauge thermoforming is primarily the manufacture of disposable cups, containers, lids, trays, blisters, clamshells, and other products for the food, medical, and general retail industries. Thick-gauge thermoforming includes parts as diverse as vehicle door and dash panels, refrigerator liners, utility vehicle beds, and plastic pallets.

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Fiber concentrate compounds are suitable for translucent and opaque injection molded housewares. Our microfiber additive technology makes a resilient container that can withstand prolonged use, and with an HDT of over 100C can be cleaned in a dishwasher.

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3D Printing

The two primary plastics used for 3D Printing are PLA and ABS. PLA (PolyLactic Acid) is a biopolymer and is both biobased and biodegradable. It is considered to be more ecologically friendly than ABS. ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene Styrene) is an oil-based plastic. It is a tough material that can be used to create robust plastic objects for everyday use, for example in cars, electrical equipment or even in the popular Lego bricks. However, ABS is more prone to warping.

Fiber concentrate compounds for 3D Printing can raise the impact resistance and elongation at break of 3D printed parts. This reduces brittleness allowing a fiber concentrate printed part to perform as well as ABS.

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Food Serviceware

Due to their ease of use, minimal maintenance, and reduced dishwashing needs, disposable food serviceware is widely used in hospitals, food service courts, restaurants, and special event locations such as sports stadiums and entertainment centers. Most of these single-use items end up in landfills. Currently, biodegradable alternatives exist that can reduce human and environmental health degradation. The biobased food serviceware market is experiencing rapid growth and pricing is becoming competitive. The challenge for purchasers is ensuring consis­tent quality and performance in these products.  Use of certified compostable biobased food service ware can maximize the advantages of food waste diversion programs.

According to the American Hospital Association, polystyrene foam products are produced from fossil fuels, a non-renewable resource. Polystyrene foam products are composed of Styrene, benzene and ethylene. Extraction and use of these chemicals is harmful to both human and environmental health. Benzene is extracted from coal or gasoline and is considered a mutagen, carcinogen and flammable. Coal mines are very detrimental to human and environmental health. Styrene is extracted from petroleum and is considered a mutagen, flammable, reactive and a neurotoxin. Ethylene is a flammable substance.

Biodegradable products are produced from renewable resources, such as corn, potatoes, perennial grasses and bagasse (sugar cane waste). The health effects caused by chemical migration from food/beverage containers (primarily due to a leaching caused by heat exchange) into food is under serious investigation. Practice Greenhealth states, “Styrene, used to manufacture polystyrene-the primary petroleum-based plastic in disposable food serviceware – has been shown to leach into food and drinks, especially those that are high in fat or contain alcohol”.

fiber concentrate compounds can be used to replace the majority of food serviceware products made from non-renewable resources with a biobased, renewably resourced, fully functional alternative.

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Nonwoven fabric is a fabric-like material made from staple fiber (short) and long fibers, bonded together by chemical, mechanical, heat or solvent treatment. The term is used in the textile manufacturing industry to denote fabrics, such as felt, which are neither woven nor knitted.  Typically, a certain percentage of recycled fabrics and oil-based materials are used in nonwoven fabrics. The percentage of recycled fabrics vary based upon the strength of material needed for the specific use. In addition, some nonwoven fabrics can be recycled after use, given the proper treatment and facilities. For this reason, some consider nonwovens a more ecological fabric for certain applications, especially in fields and industries where disposable or single use products are important, such as hospitals, schools, nursing homes and luxury accommodations.

Nonwoven fabrics are engineered fabrics that may have a limited life, single-use fabric or a very durable fabric. Nonwoven fabrics provide specific functions such as absorbency, liquid repellence, resilience, stretch, softness, strength, flame retardancy, washability, cushioning, thermal insulation, acoustic insulation, filtration, use as a bacterial barrier and sterility. These properties are often combined to create fabrics suited for specific jobs, while achieving a good balance between product use-life and cost. They can mimic the appearance, texture and strength of a woven fabric and can be as bulky as the thickest paddings. In combination with other materials they provide a spectrum of products with diverse properties, and are used alone or as components of apparel, home furnishings, health care, engineering, industrial and consumer goods.

Non-woven materials are used in numerous applications, including medical gowns, surgical masks and caps, gloves, shoe covers, filters, bath wipes, water coffee and tea bags, vacuum bags, diapers and feminine hygiene products, mailing envelopes, shopping bags, construction house wraps, and geotextiles for erosion control and drainage systems.

Fiber concentrate additives have the ability to increase the strength of recycled materials allowing higher percentages to be used in nonwoven applications.

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Agricultural Fabrics

Agricultural Fabrics – or “mulch” as they are frequently called – are widely used for crop production to control weeds, conserve soil moisture, increase soil temperature, and improve crop yield and quality, speed up the germination and cultivation cycles, reduce costs and save labor, eliminate or reduce the use of herbicides and pesticides, reduce water consumption, keep fertilizers and nutrients closer to the plant, and prevent fruits & vegetables from direct contact with the soil.

fiber concentrate technology allows for such films to be made with greater strength while retaining the potential to pass European Standard EN 13432 and the US Standard ASTM D6400 for compostability.

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External Medical Devices

Plastics have taken on an important role in the external medical device field. They are replacing plaster casts and offer many advantages. The material is heat moldable and can be reheated and reformed to provide the perfect fit thereby eliminating a lot of waste. Plastics casts can also get wet allowing patients to swim with them and keep them clean.

Fiber concentrate PLA based compounds are heat moldable and can be used as a green biobased replacement for petroleum based plastic medical cast material. Our microfiber technology allows for great formability while retaining strength and preventing brittleness.

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