Natural material for reinforcing plastics
The popularity of fossil fuel-based plastics is often due to their ease of use, availability and high production volumes. However, they lack naturalness as they are completely chemically produced. In addition, many types of plastic can only be used once, and their strength is significantly reduced over time. In Aqvacomp’s solution, pulp fibre provides three-dimensional reinforcement for plastic. We believe that our technology of binding fibres to polymer molecules is a way to reinforce many types of plastic and enable their more extensive use in plastic parts even for demanding applications in the future.
Aqvacomp saves nature throughout the product life cycle:
- Renewable raw material
- Lower need for plastic raw material
- Processing of plastic into a product
- Disposal or recycling
Future plastics will no longer be waste
Conventional plastics take hundreds or even thousands of years to decompose. In addition, plastic decomposition products, such as microplastics in the oceans, are harmful for ecosystems and nature. Our goal has been to develop an eco-friendlier substitute for plastics without compromising the properties.
We set out to develop products that are smarter in terms of their engineering, manufacturing process, durability, strength, design as well as recyclability and disposal. We want our products to allow for eco-friendlier recycling and disposal than conventional plastic products, whose reuse and disposal practices and infrastructure are still insufficient.
Towards increased recycling of plastics
The commitment of consumers and companies to recycling plastics is admirable. However, in spite of the massive interest, the reuse of recycled plastics is not expanding, mainly due to two major challenges:
- Sufficient recycling infrastructure is missing.
- The many inorganic ingredients in plastics pose chemical challenges for the processing and reuse of recycled materials.
What is more, there are many countries in which recycling programmes and practices are missing completely. The addition of Aqvacomp’s material to plastic results in better recyclability by facilitating recovery and helps avoid the need for chemical separation in the reuse of plastics.
Aqvacomp’s technical advantages
- Based on a patented wet-web process.
- Provides three-dimensional reinforcement, whereas fibreglass mainly affects one
- Shorter cycle times in the injection moulding process.
- Can replace glass fibre reinforced plastics
- Works with conventional mould solutions.
- Enables pieces with thick walls; the material has no suction effects.
- Easily colored, also almost 100% white
- Absorbs minimal humidity.
- The fibres are not as visible as in fibreglass.
- The Aqvacomp material reinforces plastics, whereas many other bio-based solutions are only used for filling plastics, meaning that the material merely replaces oil-based materials.
- A Finnish product: Finland can boast world-class expertise in biofibres.
Aqvacomp’s masterbatch is a bio-based material, replacing non-renewable fossil raw materials, fibreglass and talc with wood fibres.
Aqvacomp material is ecologically sustainable because:
- The wooden raw material acts as a carbon sink.
- It replaces natural minerals.
- It is locally produced.
- The material is lighter, saving energy in transport.
- 100% recyclable six times without compromising the technical properties.
- The material is biodegradable.
- It meets the requirements set for biomaterials for the 2020s.