Natural fibre-reinforced composites are amongst the latest innovations developed by Replast's Research and Development department. Indeed, with the aim of reducing energy consumption and the environmental impact of production, the company has tested natural fibres that blend perfectly with the synthetic ones to give life to new-generation composites.
These composites are obtained by reinforcing a matrix based on polymers or biopolymers with plant fibres. Specifically, these are lightweight and resistant materials with reduced moisture absorption, combining the benefits of polymer with those of reinforcement fibres.
In terms of biodegradability, lightness, reduced costs and lower carbon footprint, composites made with the support of natural fibres are a more than satisfactory solution for clients committed to environmental sustainability.
From a processing perspective, the compound can be transformed with injection moulding machines or extrusion lines that normally process reinforced materials.
Replast's commitment to research continues and is strengthened also thanks to a close collaboration with the innovative start-up Arianna Fibers along with the development of special compounds containing reinforcements deriving from nutshells on a biodegradable PLA base, all with the desire to follow a path in the direction of circular economy and reuse.
Probably not everyone knows that, for the purpose of recycling, the selection of plastic waste takes place through an infrared technology capable of recognising and selecting different polymers, being the first step in the circular chain that permits reuse of materials.
Plastic components that are black in colour (containing carbon black) have always presented this difficulty - due to the pigment, they are not identified by the optical selector that underlies the process of sorting waste.
Yet, a very significant innovation has come from the Quality and Innovation department of the company Replast: a line of Carbon Black Free masterbatches able to circumvent this difficulty and give life to products in various shades of black that render plastic objects "visible" to infrared rays, so as to facilitate their detection by the sensors and their proper recycling with a view to circularity and environmental sustainability.
It is thanks to constant research and the desire to respect the environment and people that Replast is able to present this new range today.