And the winner is ...Maip Srl

28.11.2017

On Nov 28, MAIP Srl, headquartered in Settimo Torinese, Italy, became the recipient of the 12th Global Bioplastics Award. The company earned the award for a newly developed PHBH-Compound for ABB Light switch covers.

m"I am NATURE" is a special PHBH based compound, available in bespoke grades and suitable for high temperature applications. It offers a sustainable solution while preserving the technical properties of a traditional thermoplastic material. Maip has developed different bioplastics that for several years, the company has sold under the I am NATURE brand. These PHBH based grades are compounded with mineral fillers, with water-repellent properties, natural fillers, natural based colours and additives of vegetal origin as well as functional components for specific requirements. The PHBH can also be blended with other biobased products such as PLA or with other biodegradable materials such as PBS, PBSA, PBAT, and others.

ABB was looking for a bioplastic able to replace technopolymers such as ABS or PC/ ABS, for the production of a newly designed series of light switch cover frames. In a joint development ABB and Maip succeeded in creating a special I am NATURE grade able to fully satisfy the multiple requirements of the component. Specifically, the new compound offers a high dimensional stability, thermal resistance (about 130 °C), superior UV and light resistance, easy colourability, processability and easy mouldability in multi cavity moulds.

The scratch resistance test, the most severe test of all, led to the development of special grades that show extraordinary mar / scratch resistance values – even in matte textures. The new I am NATURE material may therefore be rightfully defined as a true bio-technopolymer – also because it allows the painting step to be eliminated (because of its good mass colourability), thus dramatically reducing the carbon footprint of the component. The switch covers were officially introduced to the market in Europe in September 2017.

The panel of judges singled out the winning entry "as a good example that shows that the right combination of Polyhydroxyalkanoate polymers with other naturally based ingredients can lead to sophisticated applications", as Michael Thielen, publisher of bioplastics MAGAZINE declared during the award ceremony.

This year again, the trophy is made entirely of bioplastic - 3D-printed from different PLA/PHA based compounds filled with wood and different metal powders fillers. bioplastics MAGAZINE is grateful to colorFabb (Venlo, the Netherlands) who printed the base-plate using their woodFill filament. The logo is made from brassFill and the two leaves are made from copperFill. Logo and leaves were tumbled and polished to enhance the metal gloss effect.

As always, the award was presented by bioplastics MAGAZINE at the close of the first day of the 12th European Bioplastics Conference in Berlin, Germany.