When no two snowflakes are exactly alike. Injection molding based on Mother Nature’s whims. 

Can we learn how to counteract variation more efficiently and, in turn, better adapt injection molding processes to the characteristics of natural materials? Is it possible to reduce the complexity and quantity of ingredients and additives in bio-based compounds and, as a result, push recycling and upcycling processes forward?

Together with our partner Wittmann Battenfeld as well as leading research institutes and universities, we tackled one of the main challenges the circular economy poses to the plastic industry during the K 2019. And we managed to find a solution: a bio-based compound that consists of only 3 components.

Compounds based on fossil fuels have one major advantage. In accordance with the strict specifications of industrial manufacturing, they provide little room for variation, for example, with MFR, shear stability or other indicators which are important for processing. This is not the case with bio-based materials. If we want to use more bio-based materials for injection molding, but modify them in a way that compromises their natural character, we will have to come up with innovative solutions in programming and control technology that are not only better able to address variation, but can also be used to retain the benefits of these natural materials.

We will be demonstrating the proof of concept live at the K 2019 by producing packaging for the cosmetics industry. A multi-component machine will be used to produce jars with lids for cosmetic products using completely natural materials. These materials are recyclable while retaining their material-related technical properties.