Wheat Straw Fiber Filled Injection Molded Polypropylene
The development process to commercialize an agricultural BioMass natural fiber began through a consortium set up by the Onatrio BioCar Initiative. This consortium was started and led by the University of Waterloo and included the Ford Motor Company, A. Schulman, Inc. and Omtec Inc.. The success of this project is a result of excellent communication, support and detailed involvement from all of the partners. In less than 12 months following the introduction to Ford Interiors Management Group, the team commercialized the utilization of the AgriPlas™ BF20H-31 product in the Ford Flex 3rd row quarter trim bin and inner lid.
The commercialization resulted in the first ever injection moldable automotive application utilizing wheat straw fiber in a polypropylene compound.
- When compared to similar filled materials the AgriPlas™ provides ~10% weight savings.
- Less energy to convert filler, at each step, supplier, compounder and injection molding plant.
- Lower molding temperature, 9.5% heat reduction
- Wheat straw fiber does not compete with food sources or alternative fuel sources
- All physical property values and application testing requirements were equivalent or improved
- Wheat production reduces consumption of CO2 through the wheat photosynthesis process.
The development of AgriPlas™ has many benefits to the environment, while providing equivalent or better performance than typically utilized automotive filled compounds.
- The wheat straw fiber filled polypropylene product can be substituted into talc filled products, glass fiber filled products and glass/mineral filled products.
- Product complies with typical OEM specification as well as part application requirements.
- Unique additive package utilized to maintain long term heat stability and control of typical odors associated with BioFillers.
- Utilizes standard compounding equipment and standard injection molding equipment while still providing a very consistent molding process.
This application will be the foundation for other opportunities for wheat straw fiber polypropylene based products to be utilized in automotive and non-automotive applications. The AgriPlas™ value is the sustainability of the wheat straw fiber and the weight reduction it provides. Additionally, the wheat straw fiber imparts a unique look to natural compounds and equally to products that are in color.
- Part weight reduction of ~10% when compared to same filler content based compounds.
- Reduced use of polypropylene contributes to less dependency on petroleum based polymers.
- Less energy in the manufacturing process results in less energy consumption.
- Increased dimensional stability allows for better fit and finish.
- Faster cycle times have been realized in all trials to date
- The carbon footprint for parts utilizing AgriPlas™ result in about 40% reduction.
- 1.70 kilograms of carbon dioxide are produced for each kilogram of wheat straw fiber based products.
- >3.0 kilograms of carbon dioxide are produced for each kilogram of the same amount of polypropylene product.
- >Reduction of 1.3 kilograms of carbon dioxide
For additional information on AgriPlas™, please contact Paul_Hardy@us.aschulman.com, 330-630-7130
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