Spanish technical institute Aimplas reports it and 12 partners have developed bioplastic materials suitable for automotive interior applications.
Aimplas, based in Valencia, Spain, says the partners developed composites based on polyhydroxybutyrate obtained from microbial synthesis and polylactic acid derived from starch. The partners participated in a four-year study involving 13 European parties under the Ecoplast banner. The venture is winding up at the end of May.
PHB composites are reinforced with mats and fabrics of natural fibers, which improve mechanical properties for auto interior applications. Aimplas says the composites are near introduction to autos and are suited to other uses as well. PLA materials with nanoclays added are also suited to auto interiors.
Aimplas notes research also encompassed polymers based on silk proteins that promise interesting properties in other markets.
Aimplas is an acronym for Technological Institute of Plastics, part of Spain's Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.
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