Navigation Links
Fraunhofer shows bio-tiles and heat-resistant biopolymers

Fraunhofer researchers are exhibiting how renewable, biodegradable and biostable raw materials can be used in architecture, interior design and the packaging industry at this year's International Green Week in Berlin from January 18 to 27 (Hall 5.2a, Booth 103).

They consist of a mixture of linseed oil epoxy, various natural fibers and diatomaceous earth, a material that is procured from fossilized diatoms. New bio-based tile systems, like the ones designed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Halle, are more environmentally friendly, lighter-weight and depending on their manufacturing and material properties more resource- and energy-efficient than conventional ceramic materials. "The composite is not hard as glass and brittle like conventional epoxy, but flexible and more pliable instead. This makes it easier to work with the tiles," as Andreas Krombholz, scientist in the natural composites division at IWM, describes another advantage. They also put a completely new spin on architectural perspectives. In the molding process, they can be shaped on an entirely customized basis, and shaped into squares, triangles or circles, for example. Even patterns and colors can be tailor-made.

Another design advantage: By adding fluorescent pigments to the blend, they are transformed into light tiles. This means they can be used both outdoors and indoors, serving as illuminated guideposts on floors and walls. The same bio-tiles can also be installed in kitchens and bathrooms and can serve as indoor floor coverings. There are cost benefits to both producer and customer here: this is because the tiles can handle the impact noise abatement directly, so an entire work step can be dropped from the production process.

Heat-resistant plastic from corn starch

The packaging industry is increasingly using biopolymers made from polylactides (PLAs) as an environmentally friendly alternative to petroleum-based plastic. They are obtained from corn starch and completely biodegradable. Previously, however, PLA began to soften at about 60 C, so it was not suitable for heat-intensive processes. But now, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP in Potsdam have found a way to make this bioplastic even more heat-resistant. An interesting application comes from the food industry: The filling of yogurt in plastic cups, because this process takes place at higher temperatures. Cups made of PLA stereo complexes retain their shape and remain stable even at temperatures of up to 120 C. Dr. Johannes Ganster, division director at IAP, explains the principle behind this: "To make PLA plastics more form-stable at higher temperatures, we introduced stereo complexes with special components of L-lactides and D-lactides. These right-and-left rotating molecules complement each other and make the bond even more stable."

Corporations have already expressed tremendous interest, because the potential is massive. Production of biopolymers made of PLA is independent of the growing scarcity of petroleum. In addition, they can be readily composted, and they are ideal for recycling by decomposition in lactic acid. The greatest advantage is that they have since become just as durable and sturdy as any petroleum-based plastic, and can even be used for other products, such as protective films, computer housing and shopping bags. IAP is already working closely with a German factory builder that intends to incorporate the new process into its business operations soon.

Contact: Andreas Krombholz

Related biology news :

1. Fraunhofer supports continuation of Clean Sky program
2. Genetic survey of endangered Antarctic blue whales shows surprising diversity
3. University of Houston study shows BP oil spill hurt marshes, but recovery possible
4. Weakness can be an advantage in surviving deadly parasites, a new study shows
5. Study shows unified process of evolution in bacteria and sexual eukaryotes
6. Sexual reproduction brings long-term benefits, study shows
7. UCSB study shows forest insects and diseases arrive in US via imported plants
8. Study shows botanical formula fights prostate cancer
9. Transcatheter aortic valve implantation shows promise in patients with severe aortic stenosis
10. Buy coal? New analysis shows purchasing fossil fuel deposits best way to fight climate change
11. Global Surgical Devices Market Growth Driven by Improving Standards of Living and Longer Life Expectancies, Research Shows
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Fraunhofer shows bio-tiles and heat-resistant biopolymers
(Date:6/9/2016)... leader in attendance control systems is proud to announce the introduction of fingerprint attendance ... the right employees are actually signing in, and to even control the opening of ... ... ... Photo - ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 The ... has awarded the 44 million US Dollar project, for ... Embossed Vehicle Plates including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure ... leader in the production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. ... January, however Decatur was selected for ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical imaging ... product recently added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. Photo ... ... ... News ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... DIEGO , June 24, 2016 ... more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors ... circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test has ... HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston ... of novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness ... has been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the ... treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) ... inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... MONICA, Calif. , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation ... pioneer increasingly precise treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the ... institutions across 15 countries. Read More About the Class ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new case report published today in ... patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection ... for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: