Many processors still have their doubts about the value of bio-based plastics, with concerns including their recyclability, cost, and performance, but OEMs' interest in these materials is clear. In these recent examples, the carmaker is sourcing a bio-based TPU for console doors while the FMCG giant will use a PLA-type compound for packaging, but will not yet reveal for which products.
Ford Motor Company Inc. is collaborating with thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) supplier Merquinsa to use that company's its Pearlthane ECO brand of TPU for what Merqunsa calls "an automotive industry first" in its use of bio-based thermoplastic polyurethanes. Specifically Ford will overmold the bio-based TPU onto moldings made from recycled acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) for the console doors on the Lincoln MKZ. The companies reckon this will reduce the carbon footprint of the part by as much as 40%. Being replaced is a similar material combination which used standard petroleum-based TPU and virgin ABS, according to a Merquinsa spokesperson in answer to a question from Plasticstoday.com. ...