High performance fillers 'eco' fillers

Paul Boughton
The French specialist compounder Eurostar Engineering Plastics has launched a new grade of PP filled with RockTron MinTron alumino-silicate solid glass spheres.

Eurostar EP was introduced to RockTron through Univar-France, RockTron’s distributor in France. The compounder’s new grade, Starpylen ECR30K ECR: PP 30% Glass Bead Reinforced, contains 30 per cent MinTron and is part of a new range of thermoplastic compounds made with 100 per cent recycled, low carbon reinforcing agents, as a result of customer pressure.

The grades have been designed to meet stringent application requirements with no compromise on performance when compared to traditional fillers. They offer a solution, while meeting the demand for environmentally friendly and sustainable materials in end-use applications, and are available in PP and PA.

Eurostar is one of the numerous compounders and polymer producers evaluating RockTron Eco-Mineral Fillers in a range of thermoplastics and thermosets applications in Europe and the USA.

RockTron’s 100 per cent recycled, high performance fillers are produced by the company’s technology, which recycles the fly ash waste from coal-fired power stations. It is the only technology in the world that can transform both fresh AND stockpiled fly ash waste into fillers for commercial use, reducing the energy utilities’ impact on the environment.

The RockTron Process can reduce global waste stockpiles, currently estimated to hold 6 billion tonnes of fly ash, as well as eliminating the need for future stockpiles. It conserves natural resources, enables site remediation of previously stockpiled land and contributes to reducing the intensity of global carbon emissions. The wide range of eco-friendly mineral products that The RockTron Process generates can be used as fillers in elastomers and coatings, as well as polymers.

Traditional man-made glass beads, such as those that RockTron MinTron substitutes in Eurostar’s new compound, need to be heated up to extremely high temperatures. Consequently, they are very bad for the environment, both in terms of energy consumed and greenhouse gases emitted, and are also very expensive.

'Green’ resins are similarly unsuccessful in answering eco demands. They are made out of OGM, use too much water and have too low a thermal stability to be effective. Furthermore, the bio-filler natural fibres option currently only fits ‘exotic’ applications and needs a lot more work before it becomes viable.

The best approach is to work on the non-polymeric part of the formulation and RockTron products are the clear choice for numerous reasons. They cannot be challenged on eco-friendly grounds, they offer the same level of performance as engineered glass beads, there is no price premium and they are a transparent change for the customer in terms of processing. RockTron is the environmental and commercial answer to customers’ growing demands.

For more information, visit www.rktron.com

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