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The term "paper injection molding" may seem somewhat misleading at first glance, as it does not mean that the material is made of paper or even that paper is produced in this way. The actual similarity with paper is due to the basic component cellulose and the principle compostability of the products made from it. This is also the decisive difference to the classic thermoplastics. While the latter decompose only very slowly and by then prefer to accumulate in the environment as microplastics, the paper injection molding materials decompose again comparatively quickly under composting conditions into their non-petrochemical components, or are decomposed by the microbes present in the compost. In view of this property, it is understandable that this behavior does not suit all applications and requirements in terms of longevity under environmental stress. Nevertheless, there are many areas of application in which this new, environmentally friendly group of materials can already replace thermoplastic products.

In this context, the Kunststoff-Institut Lüdenscheid, partner of the Ministry of Economic Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia at this year's HANNOVER MESSE, is now presenting the joint project "Future Field Paper Injection Molding 2". The aim of the project is to further investigate the possibilities and potential of these new materials on the basis of findings available to date. To this end, on the one hand, existing materials are to be examined in greater detail, and on the other hand, new household compostable plastics are to be investigated with regard to processability and possible areas of application. In cases where material-related limitations become apparent, these are to be documented and possible solutions worked out.