Now that we are talking about sustainability and the need for greener products, we would like to share our vision with you in the shape of short articles on interesting topics to consider when creating more environmentally friendly products.
The resins we are talking about today as the thermosetting plastics of thermosets.
Simple shapes primarily use thermoplastics, whether for forming or injection. But thermoplastics are becoming more and more technical and complex in their compositions and their processing qualities. Although they have the advantage of being able to be recycled, when the shapes become more complex, grow in size and require reinforcement, it is thermosets that take precedence. Why? Because they can come to reinforce thermoplastics as a type of fibrous reinforncement. These thermoset thanks to their improved composition, make it possible to move from craftmanship to industrialization.
The main families of phenoplast, aminoplast, polyester, epoxy, polyurethane and silicone resins all have different qualities from the sectorized uses. These matrices are often in the liquid phase are . On the other hand their recycling is today impossible, largely due to the mixture with the reinforcements and the additive charges. But it is thanks to these fillers and additives that the resistance and durability are increased. For this issue, there are two avenues of research which will allow a more sustainable end of life:
Vitrimers, a laboratory material, which combines the qualities of thermosets while having the reversibility of thermoplastics. And Biopolymers (biomass, proteines, etc.) combined with vegetal fibrous reinforcements.
While it is true that the costs are still high, if is worht a try. Isn’t it?
If you need help to know more about this topic or counseling about materials and a on demand consulting service for material R&D, drop us a line. We would be glad to talk more about your projects.