Thermoplastics containing recycled material are in demand because they meet the requirements of sustainability. LANXESS, the specialty chemicals company based in Leverkusen, Germany, is responding to this trend with its new “ECO” line of products.
The EU Directive on recycling end-of-life vehicles, and its heightened requirements, were one factor prompting the decision to introduce the new ECO products. Under the Directive, 95 percent by weight of the material in a motor vehicle must be recycled by 2015.
The first ECO products are:
- Durethan ECO BV 35 H2, a polyamide 6, and
- Pocan ECO T 3240 and Pocan ECO T 3230, two blends of polybutylene and recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PBT+R-PET).
Tailored to injection molding, the products contain between 20 and 30 percent recycled material.
In addition to the benefit of conserving resources, these products enable LANXESS customers—and in turn their customers—to market their goods as “green products” and demonstrate environmentally responsible practices.
First customer project on trial in Asia
The first request has come from a global electronics company based in Singapore and headquartered in Europe. This project has been on trial run and is now in the advance stage of being commercialized.
Milan Vignjevic, LANXESS’s Asia Pacific Head of Semi-Crystalline Products (SCP) business unit, said, “The new ECO products attest to LANXESS’s global commitment to provide high-performance products which are environmentally friendly. This ability to harmonize quality and sustainability is a key differentiator for LANXESS.”
Vignjevic added, “The ECO products are immediately available to our customers in the region. At LANXESS, we have a market-oriented innovation strategy where we engage with our customers at the early stage of development. Our R&D facility in the heart of Asia plays an instrumental role in accelerating our efforts.”
The SCP business unit has a Research and Development Testing Center (RDTC) at the company’s Wuxi site in China. One of the center’s key tasks is to speed up the development of new polyamide and polyester grades by means of extensive material testing. This will not only benefit customers in Asia but also all other international customers. The RDTC works closely together with the product development department at the Dormagen site in Germany, and they are connected online via a laboratory information management system. This enables the direct and rapid exchange of test jobs and results.
Sustainability and Performance in Harmony
Pocan is used primarily in the electrical/electronics industry, although applications for this versatile material are also to be found in the automotive industry, in medicine, and in the sports and leisure sectors.
Durethan has a property profile that makes it ideal for applications in the automotive and electrical/electronics industries and in the construction sector.
The two new polyester blends—Pocan ECO T 3240 and Pocan ECO T 3230—contain PET obtained from beverage bottles. The special recycling process delivers PET that is free of all contamination, shows no fluctuations in quality and hardly alters the characteristics of the polymer at all. Thanks to the high quality of the recycled PET, the properties of both new polyester blends are on par with those of primary product.
The advantages of Pocan ECO T 3240, which contains 45 percent glass fiber, include high strength and stiffness, a low tendency to creep and a very good surface quality in the molded parts. Pocan ECO T 3230, reinforced with 30 percent glass fibers, shows little tendency to warp and, similarly, good achievable surface quality.
Durethan ECO BV 35 H2 is primarily designed for applications in automotive engineering. A thermoplastic reinforced with 35 percent glass fibers, the product is heat stabilized and can be used to good effect in under-the-hood components exposed to high temperatures. Its property set is similar to that of Durethan BKV 35 H2.0, a polyamide 6 already well established in the auto making sector. The recycled material comes from tested post-production waste or not-for-sale batches of material resulting, for example, from color changes in production.
Depending on demand, LANXESS is planning to develop other “ECO” material grades.
LANXESS (lanxess.com) is a leader in specialty chemicals with sales in 2008 of EUR 6.58 billion and currently around 14,800 employees in 21 countries. The company has operations at 44 sites worldwide. LANXESS’s core business comprises the development, manufacture and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by LANXESS AG management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.