Issue: Jul 2009


DSM ENGINEERING PLASTICS LEADS THE WAY IN DELIVERING GREEN SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS



by James Hilton

As the European Union marks Green Week 2009, which continues to support the drive for climate change, DSM Engineering Plastics announces that the Company will continue to focus on the development of a “Green Portfolio” of engineering materials to meet customer requirements and in line with DSM’s sustainability policy (People, Planet, Profit).

DSM’s engineering materials are used in a range of applications in Automotive, E&E and Consumer Products. As OEMs and end-users are looking to reduce their environmental impact, DSM Engineering Plastics continues to develop products that meet each industry’s specific sustainability needs. These include the quests for lower emissions and reduced fuel consumption, further weight reduction, increased recyclability and the growing use of renewable bio-based plastics.

Roelof Westerbeek, President DSM Engineering Plastics, says: “As a market leader, we need to ensure that we use energy and raw materials efficiently in order to reduce the environmental impact of our activities. However, at the same time we want to improve the eco-efficiency of our products and processes on an ongoing basis.”

Sustainability approaches

By focusing on eco-efficiency and sustainability, DSM drives its innovation cycle to ensure that key new product innovation and/or development meets the evolving needs of customers, whilst ensuring that products meet one or more of the following sustainability objectives.
• Hazardous substances reduction
• Eco-efficiency
• Recycling
• Bio based, renewable solutions


Hazardous substances reduction is achieved through the ongoing introduction of halogen free flame retardant solutions. DSM Engineering Plastics has already introduced a number of XG grades and HF grades. In addition, DSM is working with its raw materials suppliers to substantially lower impurity levels of potentially hazardous substances.

Greater eco-efficiency is sought through weight reduction and lifetime extension. Weight reduction is targeted by metal-to-plastic or rubber-to-plastic programs or via smart application designs (in high flow & high productivity grades), whereas lifetime extension is sought via new products such as Stanyl Diablo (PA46) and Arnitel C (TPC). DSM EP also supports research in Life Cycle Assessments and Eco- or Carbon Footprints.

Recycling alternatives include post-industrial and post-consumer solutions. DSM EP has a range of post-industrial RC Grades and offers a number of post-consumer recycled-back-to-feedstock solutions. DSM holds a patent on the post consumer carpet recycling of polyamide 6 back to pure caprolactam.

Bio based, renewable solutions are currently being investigated and include new bio based building blocks for existing polymers, and new high temperature resistant, bio-engineering plastics based on renewable resources not competing with the foodchain.

Environmentally aware portfolio keeps expanding

For DSM Engineering Plastics and its customers, the most promising current application development projects are found in Automotive, E&E and General Industry. They include:

Automotive
Metal-to-plastic conversion for oil sumps (Akulon PA6), turbo parts (Stanyl Diablo PA46) and pump parts (Arnite PET and Stanyl PA46). All these lead to significant weight and thus CO2 emission reductions. In addition, DSM EP has introduced Halogen Free flame retardant coatings in wire & cable applications (Arnitel C).

E&E
Halogen Free flame retardant connectors (Stanyl PA46) and cables (Arnitel XG); metal replacement on LED Lamp covers using Stanyl Thermally Conductive (PA46).

General Industry
Metal-to-plastic conversion for furniture, appliances, sport equipment, lawn & garden and chain saw applications.


DSM Engineering Plastics complies with a wide range of generic environmental regulations and standards including ISO14001, IMDS, RoHS, REACH. Material Safety Datasheets are readily available for all materials. In addition, the company is progresing activities already such as Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and cradle-to-cradle projects.

As DSM Engineering Plastics underlines its commitment to fthe development of eco-responsible solutions, Rein Borggreve (R&T Director) and Fredric Petit (Chairman DSM EP Sustainability Council) jointly comment: “At DSM Engineering Plastics, we fully endorse the drive for a more sustainable future and we fully support our customers’ search for alternative material solutions. It is for these reasons that we will continue to allocate significant resources to initiate and advance green and sustainable developments.”


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