Thermoplastic materials developer UBQ Materials has partnered with polymers and plastics research and development company Plastics App to develop and bring to market a novel 3D printing filament made from landfill waste.
The companies claim the filament has a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to oil-based filaments and will contribute to more sustainable and environmentally conscious manufacturing.
“Combining our end-to-end filament development capabilities with UBQ’s climate-positive material has opened up sustainable opportunities for industries such as the automotive and housing industries where fully functional prototyping is an integral part of both research and development and small-scale production,” said Dr. Yanir Shaked, Founder and General Manager of the Plastics App.
“Using environmentally conscious material for 3D printing functional prototypes from early stages of development helps companies achieve their sustainability goals without compromising product functionality.”
Conversion of landfill waste into thermoplastics
Since its inception in 2012, UBQ Materials has developed a patented advanced conversion technology that diverts residual waste from landfills such as food waste, contaminated cardboard, paper and mixed plastics and converts it into an “infinitely renewable” thermoplastic material. UBQ.
UBQ is designed to replace oil-based resins in manufacturing and is reportedly suitable for a wide variety of applications, product sectors and industries.
The thermoplastic was taken over by companies such as the automotive group Daimler, the resin-based consumer goods manufacturer Keter Plastics and the franchise company Arcos Dorados McDonald’s in Latin America and integrated into end products.
Equipped with a capacity of 5,000 tons per year, the company’s Israel-based industrial facility currently supplies UBQ to local manufacturers. Research and development activities include developing new generations of the thermoplastic material, building a global intellectual property (IP) portfolio, and expanding the scope for UBQ in a number of industries.
According to UBQ Materials, the leading provider of environmental impact assessments, Quantis, has qualified UBQ as the “Most Climate Positive Material On The Market”. The company was also awarded the Future of Plastics Award 2020 and the Quality Innovation Award 2020.
Optimize UBQ for 3D printing
To further improve sustainability in the 3D printing sector by reducing the carbon footprint of materials, Plastics App has jointly developed a thermoplastic 3D printable UBQ-based filament with UBQ Materials.
The filament is designed to make 3D printing of functional applications such as fixtures, fixtures, and replacement parts more sustainable, but it also has many other potential uses in a variety of industries.
UBQ is incorporated into four types of low-carbon 3D printing filament including Perform Q, a high performance UBQ polypropylene filament suitable for standard applications, and Perform QCF, a carbon fiber reinforced UBQ polypropylene filament designed for more demanding applications.
“By bringing 3D printing filaments to market, UBQ can test the limits and push the boundaries of traditional plastics manufacturing techniques,” said Tato Bigio, Co-Founder and CEO of UBQ Materials. “The versatile applications of UBQ enable integration into a wide range of products, which reduces emissions and prevents the formation of landfills.
“The partnership will expand the scope of companies that can refine their processes while reducing their energy consumption.”
Creating 3D printing materials from waste
Overall, 3D printing is largely seen as a more environmentally friendly alternative to conventional manufacturing techniques. However, there are several ways the sector can improve its green skills. Developing methods for more sustainable material production is one of these priorities, and there are a number of developments to accelerate this effort.
For example, in September last year, Amsterdam-based 3D printing filament manufacturer Reflow launched a range of environmentally friendly translucent “Seaglass” materials made from plastics from the region.
The following month, a European Union-funded project, BARBARA, completed four years of research into making bio-based 3D printing materials from food waste and agricultural by-products such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and corn. The next phase of the project is to step up research and development efforts to reach semi-industrial levels.
Earlier this year, Spain-based 3D printing materials maker Recreus launched a flexible TPU filament that is 100 percent recycled and made from waste from the shoe industry and the company’s own production processes.
Elsewhere, 3D printing materials have been developed from darker sources, including lignin from plant cell walls, water bottles, and even termite and boring insect debris.
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The image shown shows that the UBQ Materials and Plastics app has partnered to bring a novel 3D printing filament made from recycled landfill and polypropylene to the market. Image via UBQ materials.