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Weight reduction of plastic products

The use of transparent thermoplastics for glazing supposes an advantage of the 40 % when reducing the glass weight. This is just an example of the large number of possibilities that plastics can offer by substituting other traditional materials in sectors such as the medical, the railway, the street furniture, the building and the packaging sectors. For instance, in order to transport 10 million of 375ml full jars are needed 73 lorries less if the packagings are made of plastic and not of glass.

The replacement of traditional materials with plastic materials is a tendency, as well as the development of new plastics with less weight but not less functionality. In this case, we must consider both the design, development and manufacture of new materials and the processes associated to their use and recyclability.
AIMPLAS is carrying out different projects in order to reduce the weight of materials and plastic products. It has been shown that, at laboratory scale, a low level of graphene is capable of improving, in a significant way, the mechanical properties of polymers, which can contribute to the weight reduction of the final piece as well as to confer thermal and electrical functionalities.

Another case of success achieved in this field by the Centre has been the weight reduction in pieces injected by using a new compound integrated with textile substrates. This is an interesting result for companies that manufacture moulded parts in sectors such as the electrical-electronic one.
Moreover, AIMPLAS is working to reduce the weight of plastic products by co-extrusion, exactly in rigid products such as huge packagings, cans, pipes, etc. with significant thicknesses by including a foamed central layer and getting weight reductions between the 15 and 40 % without reducing mechanical and aesthetic properties.

Lightness is an adding value for certain products because it proportionates a value at an economic and environmental level and it can improve significantly the practicality when a user uses a product.