One of the main aims for Floreon was to create a greener more environmentally friendly plastic.
Floreon is produced using a sustainable, renewable source and has been proven to reduce greenhouse gases during various processes. The end of life options have also been increase meaning that the aim has been achieved, without comprising the environmental credentials of this plastic
Low energy manufacture
Another benefit of Floreon is that is requires far less energy to process compared to rival products.
Typically other plastics need temperatures of 280-300 degrees centigrade during the manufacturing compared to the much lower 160 degrees centigrade, required by Floreon.
Floreon is fully recyclable and biodegradable. It can be mechanically recycled, a common technique used for other plastics such as PET.
Another possibility with PLA and Floreon is feedstock recovery where it is converted back to the starting material (lactic acid)which can then be purified and used to make virgin polymer again.
End of life
Unlike other plastics and PLA’s Floreon has a few end of life options including being recycled, disposed of by industrial composting or being used for energy or feedstock recovery. PET can only be recycled, recovered or put into landfill which is where most standard plastics eventually ends up.
These options give this ground breaking product a 100% sustainable circle of life.
Floreon boosts the performance of standard PLA, including better toughness, higher strength and durability. There are 6 different grades of Floreon available; each grade has been optimised for different applications and processes.
In-house testing has showed Floreon can enhance the toughness of PLA significantly. For example cast sheet specimens of PLA and Floreon were produced using a sheet extruder at a thickness of 750 microns and the Floreon compounded samples had four times higher impact resistance. Floreon sheet material was also easier to extrude at lower temperatures relative to uncompounded PLA.
Independent testing of Floreon by Smithers Rapra also showed that injection molded samples of Floreon were almost twice as tough as PET (notched Izod test).
The performance of Floreon is comparable to (if not better than) competing plastics and the well-rounded performance window of the material opens up a wider range of applications for this ground breaking material. Floreon has been designed for 'through life' performance but with a sustainable origin and a range of end of life options.
Tests of Floreon sheet material have shown it to be stable for UV (lithographic) printing and one of the first applications we have investigated is the printed sheet market.
Floreon is completely safe for food contact and the material has passed independent food contact testing by Smithers-Rapra.