The characteristics and parameters of bio-based plastic colorants on biodegradable matrix with almond shell fillers to be processed by injection molding have been determined within the LIFE MASTALMOND Project. These new formulations will be applied to toy and auxiliary furniture products, to adapt the formulations to their physical and chemical requirements.
Among other activities, the type of biodegradable polymeric matrix, the almond shell particle size, the drying conditions and the different required colours and textures have been established.
Preliminary formulations have been applied to tests specimens with the aim of characterising them in several almond shell percentages, what has conferred very interesting textures in several tonalities on tests specimens. The result is fully satisfactory and their aesthetic characteristics very appealing.
The scaled-up selected formulations will be applied to the demonstrators aiming to be developed, which have been recently defined; they will applied on parts of a Ride-On toy and parts with wood texture on an office chair.
Mª Sol Estébanez, Head of the project in IQAP Masterbatch Group, says that “as they are bio-based biodegradable plastics, the benefits of the results obtained are triple: achieving biodegradable materials to a lower cost, the production of products with very interesting aesthetics that simulate wood and the improvement of the branding mark of the company that uses these environment-friendly products”. As a consequence, she hopes “that industries become aware of the importance of those developments and contribute to the project providing their related requirements, thus joining synergies and allowing the implementation of good practices in the result.
This project, supported by the contribution of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Community within LIFE+ 2011 ENV/ES/513, is in its second year of development and is planned to be fully developed in 3 years.