Mitsui Chemicals Develops TPV With Recycled Polyolefin as Core Ingredient
Mitsui Chemicals has developed an environment-friendly grade of Milastomer thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV) that employs recycled polyolefin as a principal component. Samples of the new grade are already being sent out to customers.
The TPV builds on the material science capabilities of the Mitsui Chemicals Group (MCI Group), tapping into quality control and other know-how that has been developed through the production of compounds. Leveraging these resources has allowed Mitsui Chemicals to succeed in switching the polyolefin component to a recycled material, reducing CO2 emissions and the overall burden on the environment without compromising performance compared with the original virgin-resin-based product.
Milastomer is currently used primarily in automotive (door trim, weather seals, mudguards) and building and construction (architectural gaskets and drainpipe hoses/fittings), as well as in everyday goods such as toothbrush grips. In adding the Eco Series to the product range, Mitsui Chemicals aims not only to offer an environmentally friendly option for use in these existing areas, but also to step up the development of new applications for Milastomer.
A flexible plastic available in a wide range of hardness grades, Milastomer reportedly offers outstanding heat resistance, light weight, and low density when compared to other flexible resins. Its principal components are rubber and a polyolefin or other such plastic material.
The MCI Group manufactures the main components of Milastomer — EPDM and polyolefins — internally and can design formulations, as needed. Further, digital transformation technology being introduced by Mitsui Chemicals will eventually ensure the traceability of the recycled material itself.
High-quality recycled materials are vital to ensure that the properties of the Eco Series consistently meet certain standards. However, to encourage the use of recycled materials throughout society, it is also important to broaden the scope of recycled materials that can be used, thereby increasing the volume available. By leveraging digital transformation to ensure the traceability of recycled materials, Mitsui Chemicals intends to guarantee the quality of these materials, while also expanding the range of applications for which recycled materials can be used.
Mitsui Chemicals produces Milastomer at sites in Japan, Europe, and China, as well as in Sidney, OH, where a plant commenced operations in 2019 at the site of its subsidiary, Advanced Composites Inc.