(+86) 760 8996 7810 sales@nice-rapidtooling.com

Food packaging is looking to get a boost due to the ingenious work of Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, based at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. They intend to research the use of clear bio-based plastics in the manufacturing process, so as to ensure a more environmentally friendly manufacturing and packaging experience with a material that is traditionally too viscous for this kind of use and, at present, more expensive than traditional manufacturing processes.

In order to reduce the cost of the production of these plastics and to promote them as an environmentally friendly alternative to manufacturers and consumers, the team has decided that injection moulding is the key to reducing costs. One of the issues with moulding such plastics is that the new material does not “flow” in the same manner as traditional, hydrocarbon-based polymers and so this is something that the researchers hope to overcome with their research. Additives and injection compression moulding will be the main ways in which they attempt to overcome the viscosity issue, with the lighter and thinner material used in bio-plastics being more suitable for this technique than traditional polymers.

Finally, the team will be looking at the food safety and quality aspects of changing the polymer to a bio-plastic and hope to be able to ensure that whatever it contains will taste as fresh as it possibly can. This is difficult when using a bio-plastic due to the reduced water barrier protection that is afforded by the material and the container may require another layer of material in order to provide full protection and ensure product freshness.