Introduced at Fakuma in October, new grades of Merquinsa’s (Barcelona, Spain) Pearlthane ECO thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) complete the company’s range of bio TPUs launched at K 2007.
The grades with 85, 90, 95, and 98 Shore A, and 60 Shore D hardness offer an alternative to petroleum-based TPUs and TPEs, and are said to offer excellent mechanical properties, abrasion, scratch resistance, processability, and recyclability. According to ASTM D6866 methods for determining bio-based content, these grades have a renewable content of up to 60%. And for every 10,000 metric tons of the bio TPU that replaces petroleum-based TPUs, up to 20,000 barrels of crude oil are saved.
The D12T95 (95 Shore A) grade shows properties similar to conventional polyester-based TPU grades of the same hardness, while molding processability is said to be equal or slightly better in terms of cycle time. Ideal applications for the materials include sport and leisure, automotive, consumer electronics, and industrial parts.
Merquinsa efforts in developing eco-friendly materials have been rewarded: It was a runner-up in the Best Innovation in Bioplastics category of European Plastics News’ 2007 Bioplastics Awards last December, and was a finalist for the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry’s 2008 Polyurethane Innovation Awards presented in October in San Antonio, TX.