Material Connexion Field Trip


Terratek® SC

A blend of wheat starch and polypropylene (PP), this resin minimizes polymer usage by loading the resin with starch. Biobased content offers the benefit of decreasing the amount of non-renewable resources used. The polymer composite can be utilized in pliable and rigid applications, and can withstand temperatures above 100˚C (212˚F). Variable degrees of starch loading offer different physical properties of the blend, varying tensile strength and flexibility. The 50% starch blend has a tensile strength of 4,800 psi (0.03 GPa) at break and a tensile modulus of 450,000 psi (4.1 GPa), which are comparable or slightly greater than pure PP, depending on grade specifics. The inclusion of starch in the PP does not effect processing; current molding machines and processing are suitable, as long as temperatures are maintained below 400˚F (204˚C); making integration into current systems simple. The polymer composite is offered in cream white pellets, and sold by the pound. The starch to polymer ratio can be varied from 30% to 65% starch upon request. Resin grades with 50% starch and greater qualify for the USDA’s BioPreferred program, which gives preference to biobased materials in federal agency purchasing decisions. Applications include food packaging, accessories, consumer goods and household items.




Injection moldable resins that contain a significant proportion of natural fibers. The HDPE based composite is suitable for applications which need good stiffness. The ABS based composites are excellent raw materials for demanding technical applications e.g. in automotive, telecom or electronic industries, covers, handles, but also for decorative parts. The polystyrene (PS) based composites give a very beautiful natural appearance to products in applications where no absolute mechanical properties are needed but where excellent surface quality and fascinating outlook is a desired property e.g. packaging of cosmetics or jewelry. The polyacetal (POM) based composite is suitable for technical applications, where good surface quality, low-friction surface, high stiffness and good impact resistance are needed. This is the first 100 % biodegradable fiber reinforced thermoplastic composite. The reinforcing fibers notably improve the original characteristics of the biopolymer, such as injection molding capability and mechanical characteristics; the reinforcement also increases the temperature range under which the end products can be used. Standard machines, moulds, colors and methods may be used. Cycle time in molding is typically 10-50 % shorter than for comparable normal plastics. Methods normally used in post handling of plastic products, e.g. ultrasound welding, machining, various markings e.g. laser marking as well as additives and coloring agents, can also be used with the composites. Applications are for injection molded parts.








Moldable fibrous composite that offers easy formability of complex shapes with good dimensional stability. The composite is a combination of 60% coir fibres and 40% natural latex, that allows the fibers to be exposed and constitute the surface texture of the part. The parts are impact resistant, have good elastic recovery, and are smooth to the touch. Both materials are rapidly renewable and the molded parts are biodegradable and compostable. The fibers are removed from the coconut shell and formed into a mat between which layers, latex rubber is injected. Combinations of the sheets are then heat pressed into specific forms using a heated mold. Standard flat sheets that can be heat formed are offered in 2000 x 2200 mm (78.74 x 86.6 in) and in thicknesses from 0.4 to 4 in. The final thickness of the part will depend upon its profile and original thickness, but parts as thin as 1 mm (0.04 in) can be produced with good strength. Alternative fibers can be used including horse hair, sisal, tampico, abaca, PET, and palm. The sheets are offered in a black/brown coir as well as a white/crème color. The density and ‘memory speed’ can be customized. If material is in stock, lead times are 1 month. If material is not in stock, approximately 3 months. The materials have been tested according to Ökotex 100, achieving Class 1, and the QUL Naturlatex (Qualitätsverband Umweltverträgliche Latexmatratzen e.V.) certifying they are rapidly renewable. The molded parts are used in packaging and as interior parts for upholstery.




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