Drinking valve made of bioplastics
The custom-made product for a bicycle drinking bottle combines functional properties and enables use in a bio-based recycling economy.
The outdoor outfitter Vaude and the manufacturer of thermoplastic elastomers and flexible polymer compounds Hexpol TPE have taken another small step towards a biobased circular economy: They present a drinking valve made of bioplastics for a bicycle drinking bottle.
Biobased and recyclable
In developing the "Bike Bottle Organic", the Baden-Württemberg based company Vaude pursued the goal of designing a product that consists entirely of biobased plastics. The drinking bottle should be part of the "Green Shape" product range, whose principle is to be functional, environmentally friendly and sustainable at the same time. This time, the soft valve on the mouthpiece presented a challenge: "Thanks to the Dryflex Green TPEs, Vaude was able to manufacture a technical component, in this case a soft valve, from biobased material," explains Vaude manager Clément Affholder.
Colorable, dimensionally stable and UV-resistant
The fact that this was not so easy was due to both the mechanical requirements and the conditions for processability. "The Dryflex Green TPE compound, developed individually for Vaude, is based on more than 34% biobased materials, it can be processed using conventional production methods, as a drop-in solution without the need for tool modification," said Hexpol manager Kathrin Heilmann. Other requirements that the new valve meets include the specifications for food contact in the European Union and the USA and the possibility of coloring the valve. In addition, the material must adhere to polypropylene and polyethylene, be dimensionally stable, UV-resistant and fully recyclable.
Renewable resources for a high-performance product
Vaude describes the versatile material properties as the decisive factor in choosing to cooperate with the international plastics expert Hexpol. Affholder is now delighted with the successful sales launch: "It is an important step forward that helps to minimize the environmental impact of consumer goods and at the same time shows that renewable resources can be used in high-performance products".