DSM Engineering Plastics has introduced EcoPaXX™, a bio-based, high performance engineering plastic based on polyamide (PA) 410, the company announced. Polyamide 410 is a "long-chain polyamide". It pairs typical long-chain polyamide properties, such as low moisture absorption, with high melting point (highest of all bio-plastics) and high crystallization rate (typical for engineering plastics such as polyamide 66 and Stanyl polyamide 46). EcoPaXX™ is a green, bio-based material: approximately 70% of the polymer consists of building blocks derived from castor oil - a renewable resource whose production does not compete with food the food-chain.
In addition, the bio-based material has been shown to be 100 % carbon neutral from cradle to gate, which means that the carbon dioxide which is generated during the production process of the polymer, is fully compensated by the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed in the growth phase of the castor beans. It is said to have excellent mechanical properties and combines the benefits of a high melting point of ca. 250oC, with a high rate of crystallization enabling high productivity. The material has low moisture absorption and excellent chemical and hydrolysis resistance, which makes it highly suitable for various demanding applications, for instance in the automotive and electrical markets, the company says.