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News in plastic industry

The Coca-Cola Company and Ford Motor Company are collaborating on an interior vehicle fabric made from the same renewable material used to produce Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle Technology for its plastic packaging.

The two companies recently unveiled a Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid research vehicle which uses the first-ever fibre that can be woven into durable, automotive-grade PET fabric from PlantBottle material for interior fabric surfaces covering seat cushions, seat backs, head restraints, door panel inserts and headliners.

The vehicle marks the first time PlantBottle Technology has been applied beyond packaging and is part of a commitment by the two companies to develop innovative new products produced from renewable materials.

“By using PlantBottle Technology in a plug-in hybrid, Ford and Coca-Cola are showing the broad potential to leverage renewable materials that help replace petroleum and other fossil fuels, reducing the overall environmental impact of future vehicles,” said John Viera, Global Director of Sustainability and Vehicle Environmental Matters at Ford.

Both companies use PET in a variety of products including plastic bottles, fabrics and carpets. This, they say, provided a natural opportunity to bring together both recyclable and renewable technologies.

“This collaboration with Ford demonstrates that PlantBottle Technology can be applied anywhere PET plastic is traditionally used, but with a lighter footprint on the planet,” said Scott Vitters, General Manager, PlantBottle Packaging Platform, The Coca-Cola Company. “We are pleased to share this technology with Ford, and look forward to continuing to expand the application of PlantBottle Technology.”


Plastmarket news

Clariant flame retardants are being used in the development of commercially viable, flame retarded thermoplastic composites based on renewable oyster shell fillers.

Research led by the Unité Matériaux et Transformations (UMET) at the University of Lille in France has shown that it is possible to achieve effective flame retardancy for oyster shell reinforced polypropylene (PP) composites using Clariant’s Exolit AP non-halogenated flame retardants. Results indicated a significant increase in the thermal stability of the PP compound with phosphate-based Exolit AP760 added to the high performance compound.

Eurostar Engineering Plastics, developer of the ‘green’ PP compound, has chosen oyster shells as a renewable source of mineral filler. In addition, the Exolit AP flame retardant displays no toxic effects, and is biodegradable, breaking down to naturally occurring phosphate, according to Clariant.

“The project results herald a breakthrough in the feasibility of using bio-based materials in high-end application areas, such as the automotive and building and construction industries, where effective flame retardancy is required,” said Professor Sophie Duquesne, who is leading the research group from Unité Matériaux et Transformations (UMET).

“In addition to oyster shells we are also actively researching the viability of achieving flame retardancy when vegetal fillers such as flax are used, to further extend possibilities for more environmentally-friendly materials in demanding environments,” she continued.