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High Performance Composite Panels from Renewable Bio-Based Polymers

04 May 2010

EconCore has presented a 100% bio-based composite panel, using ThermHex technology to produce PLA honeycomb cores with Biotex flax/PLA skins from Composites Evolution.

“Today, the exploitation of the economical advantages of weight reduction has become essential for many industries,” says François de Bie, EconCore head of sales and marketing. “Bio-based polymer materials are still relatively expensive compared to for example PP alternatives which has limited the use of these materials in structural applications. Bio-based sandwich panels can be used in for example re-usable packaging, furniture, automotive interiors or separation walls.”

“The last 6 months EconCore has optimized the production technology to produce PLA based hexagonal honeycomb cores using a continuous production process. Only moments after the core is produced skin layers are added in a second step of the continuous production process.” These skins could be made from unfilled PLA material to make a mono material panel or, in case a higher performance is required, could be replaced with consolidated flax in a PLA matrix.

Poly-Lactic Acid (PLA) is a biopolymer used to make for example packaging, consumer goods and furniture and is derived from renewable resources instead of oil. A biopolymer offers more disposal options and is more environmentally friendly to manufacture than traditional petroleum-based plastics. Derived from 100% annually renewable resources such as plants, PLA generates significantly less greenhouse gas emissions over the life time when compared to traditional materials like PP.






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