Sponsored By

June 8, 2016

2 Min Read
Biobased alternative for sound- and vibration-reducing materials in railway systems

Environmentally friendly plastics for elastic rail fastening systems are the focus of development work at Dutch organization Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research. These polymers are currently often based on isocyanates, which require special attention to occupational safety when being used. In the project, Wageningen UR is working with Dutch companies edilon)(sedra (Haarlem) and Croda (Gouda).

Biobased elastomers could find application in rail fastening systems.

The goal of the project, which has been titled MAGIC (based on the Dutch translation of "environmentally friendly alternatives for hazardous isocyanate-based components"), is to develop new resins from biomass which cure into an elastic rubber-like compound within a limited time. These biomass-based polymers can be applied as elastic sound- and vibration-reducing materials. The scientists are studying various chemical compounds. The final material should be less moisture-sensitive in processing and have a short curing time. In addition, it must meet specific mechanical material requirements and adhere well to rails and concrete.

According to project leader Rolf Blaauw from Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research, sustainability analysis is part of the project: “We are looking to determine the environmental friendliness of the new material. The tangible end product of the project is a prototype of the rail fastening system made with the biobased two-component resin.”

The project is part of the large-scale research program Biobased Performance Materials (BPM). On Thursday 16 June, the fifth annual BPM symposium is organized to address current biobased performance materials research developments—including presentations from ADM, Sabic, Sulzer and Croda. The goal of the BPM program is to develop high-quality materials based on biomass; materials that are increasingly applied in practice. The research focuses on two types of polymer materials: Polymers produced by plants and polymers from biobased building blocks produced via biotechnology or chemical catalysis. The BPM program is partly financed by the Dutch government of Economic Affairs via the Top Sector Chemistry.

Sign up for the PlasticsToday NewsFeed newsletter.

You May Also Like