21 April 2018 
25 April 2017

Compostable packaging material

Thanks to a new processing technique, foamable particles that are based on renewable resources can be processed into individual molded parts, e. g. for utilization as packaging material. Subsequent to use, the foam parts are compostable.

Photo: Fraunhofer UMSICHTPhoto: Fraunhofer UMSICHT
Molded foam parts glued together with water.
Due to their product properties – light-weight, insulating, form-fitting –, particle foams can be utilized, among other areas, in the automotive, logistics, and packaging sectors. Conventional foams, made of – for example – EPS (expanded polystyrene) or EPP (expanded polypropylene), are based on fossil source materials and are manufactured in molding machines with the help of steam and the effects of temperature and pressure.

Sustainable particles

Jointly with industry project partners as well as the Institute for Food and Environmental Research (ILU e. V.), Fraunhofer UMSICHT has developed an alternative that consists primarily of vegetable starch and water. Additional additives can supplement the formulation. “Our task was to manufacture starch particles that are as sustainable and biodegradable as possible that correspond to conventional, petro-chemically based particles in their properties’ profile,” explained Dr. Stephan Kabasci, Head of the Department Bio-based Plastics at Fraunhofer UMSICHT. With an eye on the existing packaging market, the pricing also had to be taken into consideration in the selection of the components of the formulation.

In multiple series of tests with the novel starch particles, different foaming processes were tested. In direct comparison, a temperature-controlled slab press provided for the best results. For this, the starch particles are filled into a forming tool and fixated between two slabs for a specified time under pressure. So-called injection compression molds and/or die tools that feature a punch protruding into the negative mold are being utilized. This allows for a direct build-up of pressure in the direction of the particles located in the mold. For the expansion effect of the material, the pressure is a decisive factor in addition to the correct temperature-control that effects the formation of steam.

Compact molded parts

Then the distance between the two slabs is being increased and the cooling off of the die tool is being initiated. This cooling-down process is carried out under counter-pressure so that the starch particles can expand, however not beyond the desired geometry of the molded part. “This way, we can manufacture compact molded parts with a closed and flat surface,” said Kabasci.

Through water pressure and contact pressure, multiple molded parts can be glued to one another and additional geometries can be realized through cutting. Areas of use are, for example, edge protection for the transport of goods that are sensitive to shock, product-protecting spacers in packaging, or the replacement of polystyrene-based floral arrangement foams.


More news about "interpack":

27 June 2017

Dates for interpack 2020 have been set

Following the Düsseldorf trade fair cycle, the next interpack at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre will be held in three years' time, from 7 to 13 May 2020. The suppliers' trade fair components - special trade fair by interpack will run completely in parallel with interpack again in 2020. (more…)

2 May 2017

3rd SAVE FOOD Congress at interpack

For its 3rd edition the SAVE FOOD Congress held on 4 May 2017 at Congress Center Süd of the Düsseldorf exhibition centre as part of interpack 2017 will pursue a multi-dimensional approach for fighting food losses and waste. The trade fair interpack will take place on 4-10 May, 2017. (more…)

14 March 2017

Special show “innovationparc” at interpack

SAVE FOOD will play an important role at interpack 2017. A special show called innovationparc (Innovation Park) will be held, with packaging ideas and solutions designed to reduce food losses and waste. They will include the winners of the international competitions for the SAVE FOOD Packaging Awards, held by the World Packaging Organisation (WPO). (more…)

10 January 2018

Upakovka: extensive innovationparc conference programme

At Upakovka 2018, being held at the AO Expocentre Krasnaja Presnja in Moscow from 23 to 26 January, visitors can expect an extensive innovationparc conference programme over the entire duration of the trade fair in 2018. On 23 January, the first day of the trade fair, a slot is reserved for SAVE FOOD. (more…)

21 November 2017

Successful première of Indian trade fair quartet

With some 10,000 visitors, the combination of several trade fairs - the interpack alliance events pacprocess India, IndiaPack and FoodPex India and the parallel trade fair drink technology India, held by Messe München - can look back to a much acclaimed première in New Delhi. (more…)

21 November 2017

Numerous deals at pacprocess Tehran and IPAP

The debut of the combined trade fairs pacprocess Tehran, as part of the interpack alliance, and IPAP Printing & Packaging Expo - powered by drupa, has markedly exceeded both exhibitors' and visitors' expectations and also prompted satisfied faces among the organisers Messe Düsseldorf and Barsaz Rooydad Pars Company (BRP). (more…)

20 October 2017

Packaging trade fair trio ready to take off

From 26 to 28 October 2017 the first edition of the trade fair trio comprising pacprocess India, indiapack and food pex India will rank top of the agenda at the Pragati Maidan Exhibition Centre in New Delhi. Forming part of the interpack alliance, this trio is the result of a cooperation between Messe Düsseldorf and the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP). (more…)


29/05/2018 - 01/06/2018 in Mailand
Trade fair for food and non-food processing and packaging
05/06/2018 - 08/06/2018 in Mexico City
Packaging and Processing Event in Latin America
13/06/2018 - 16/06/2018 in Bangkok
International Processing and Packaging Technology Event for Asia
26/06/2018 - 28/06/2018 in Frankfurt / Main
03/07/2018 - 04/07/2018 in Nürnberg
19/09/2018 - 22/09/2018 in Jakarta
Indoplast / Indopack / Indoprint
International Metal & Steel Trade Fair for Southeast Asia


Next date of the fair interpack: 07/05/2020 - 13/05/2020

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