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The German Plastics Center (SKZ) in Bayreuth and the Department of Polymer Engineering at the University of Bayreuth want to jointly develop bio-based wood-plastic composites (WPC) made of more than 95% biomaterial . The WPC sheets are to have a wood content of 30 to 60%, thanks to the use of bio-based polyethylene (bio-PE) and polylactide (PLA) . In addition, the scientists also want to reduce the density of the WPC foam profiles to 500-800 kg/m³ through foaming; this is equivalent to the foam profiles of chipboard or fiberboard. The boards are to be produced through physical foaming in a continuous extrusion process with defined calibrated profile surfaces.

According to Serhiy Yatsenko, the SKZ scientist leading the project, the innovative WPC boards are both resource-saving and environmentally friendly. Thanks to their natural look and feel and insulating properties, they can be used in furniture making, for example, but also as lightweight semi-finished materials in the construction sector. SKZ and the University of Bayreuth invite interested companies to participate in the research project’s support committee, help shape the research, and find out about the latest findings.