February 6, 2012
Laurel BioComposite LLC has introduced Bio-Res™, a patent-pending, odorless biomaterial for the plastic molding market. The company developed the material to raise the renewable, or green, content of plastic products by as much as 40 percent.
According to the manufacturer, laboratory tests have proven the material's ability to act as a replacement for neat resin at a reduced cost. It is available in a powder or pellet form and mixes with polyethylene, polypropylene, polylactic acid, and PHA. The pellets are made of 60 to 80 percent biomaterial.
Injection molders can insert the pellets directly into injection-molded parts. The material also can be blended with various resins. The product serves as an alternative to traditional petroleum-based resins in a variety of manufacturing processes for plastics. It is able to lower specific gravity when compared to conventional fillers such as calcium carbonate and talc, the company reports.
Made from corn-based distillers grain, a nonedible byproduct of ethanol plants, the biomaterial is produced using a two-tank batch system. Distillers grain is fed to the tanks, which sequentially feed a single positive-displacement pump that discharges to a decanter. After the material completes the drying process, it is milled and made ready for shipment to a pelletizing operation.
This renewable feedstock is readily available and easy to transport and store, making the product suited for large-volume production, the company reports. The product sequesters CO2 and does not use toxic compounds during processing.
Laurel BioComposite, 123 E. 2nd St., Laurel, NE 68745, 402-360-0559, www.laurelbiocomposite.com
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