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Aimplas houses new plastics research facilities in plastic building

This month, the dedicated Spanish plastics technology R&D center Aimplas in Valencia opened its newly expanded fully equipped research unit for business. The new building, which will focus on research into nanomaterials, materials from renewable sources, composites and intelligent materials has a total surface area of 4,500 m2 and is spread over three floors.

The new unit will not only allow Aimplas to be able to increase the number of research projects that are implemented every year, it will also facilitate the transfer of generated know-how from the research lab to enterprises active in the plastics industry in Valencia, but also throughout Spain. Currently, Aimplas is the only technology center in Spain whose R&D activities are exclusively dedicated to plastic materials and their transformation processes. Establish as a non-profit organization, its aim is, among other things, to boost the level of competitiveness in the Spanish plastics industry.

New projects are planned relating to high-value added plastic materials and innovative transformation processes as well as new plastics applications in knowledge-intensive sectors. More specifically, the team will be undertaking projects on the development and improvement of renewable polymeric materials, nanocomposites, flame retardants, as well as the improvement of their properties and processes. New products, such as active and intelligent packaging, but also products based on recycled materials are also being targeted.

The building itself is an exercise in sustainability. In the design, special attention was devoted to minimizing the building´s energy consumption, which resulted in a B energy rating. The building boasts an annual consumption of 49,000 kWh and annual CO2 emissions of 32,000 kg. Moreover, the highest possible percentage of plastic materials was used to construct the building, which features, among other things, EPDM rubber for a waterproof, recyclable roof coating, that reduces the energetic consumption, expanded polystyrene and extruded polystyrene foam insulation or nylon carpets and PVC carpentry.

The outer facades, however, are without any doubt the most striking elements of the building. Designed with a series of exterior plastic cladding, which reflect "an aesthetic, interesting and modern look" on one hand, they also function to provide a solar power monitoring system of the building to contribute to its energetic efficiency on the other.

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