Img preview " Development of a new Bio-Composite from renewable resources with improved thermal and fire resistance for manufacturing a truck internal part with high quality surface finishing "


Bioplastics Award 2017 - And the winner is... IamNature

This year the prestigiousBioplastics Award was given to Maip (Settimo Torinese, Italy) for a newlydeveloped PHBH compound for ABB Light switch covers.

“IamNature” is a special PHBH-basedcompound, available in tailor made grades and suitable for high temperatureapplications. It offers a sustainable solution preserving the technicalproperties of a traditional thermoplastic material. Maip has developeddifferent bioplastics that are sold under the brand “IamNature” for severalyears. These PHBH-based grades are compounded with mineral fillers, withwater-repellent properties, natural fillers, natural based colours andadditives of vegetal origin as well as functional components for specificrequirements. The PHBH can also be blended with other biobased products such asPLA, or with other biodegradable materials such as PBS, PBSA, PBAT, and others.

For a new series of switch coverframes that should have an advanced design and a remarkable environmentsustainability connotation, ABB was looking for a bioplastic material thatcould replace engineering polymers such as ABS or PC/ ABS. In a jointdevelopment ABB and Maip succeeded in creating a special IamNature grade thatis suitable to satisfy all the multiple requirements of the component. The newcompound exhibits particular properties such as high dimensional stability,thermal resistance (about 130°C), superior UV and light resistance, easycolourability and easy mouldability in multi cavity moulds. Easy processabilityand specific electric features, such as, for example, a glow wire of 650°C at 2mm.

The most severe test of all, thescratch resistance, led to the development of special grades that showsurprising mar/scratch resistance values also in case of matte textures. Themain properties that were achieved, allow the definition of the new IamNatureas an actual bio-engineering polymer that also allows to eliminate the painting(because of its good mass colourability), dramatically reducing the carbonfootprint of the component. The switch covers were officially introduced to theEuropean market in September 2017.

The panel of judges singled out thisapplication of light switch covers “as a good example that shows that the rightcombination of polyhydroxyalkanoate polymers with other naturally basedingredients can lead to sophisticated applications”, as Michael Thielen,publisher of bioplastics magazine pointed out during the award ceremony.

The trophy is again made entirelyfrom bioplastics. It was 3D-printed from different PLA/PHA based compoundsfilled with wood and different metal powders fillers. bioplastics magazine isgrateful to colorFabb (Venlo, the Netherlands) who printed the base-plate usingtheir woodFill filament. The logo is made from brassFill and the two leaves aremade from copperFill. Logo and leaves were tumbled and polished to enhance themetal gloss effect.

The prize was awarded by bioplasticsmagazine to the winning companies on November 28, during the EuropeanBioplastics Conference in Berlin, Germany.


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This project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [605658].

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