APFU B40

What is it?

Created using a unique recycling technology that turns materials that previously were very hard to recycle into a strong cellulose fibre-reinforced composite material.

B40 is a mixture of:

  • 57% multi-layered plastic film waste

  • 40% plastic-coated paper carton waste

  • 3% additives   

 

Multi-layered film is used for flexible food packaging for chips, soups, candy, chips, sliced meat, and many other categories of food. The plastic film can consist of up to 12 layers of different types of plastics but most often the majority is polyolefin, e.g. polyethylene and polypropylene.

 

The advantage of multi-layered film is its enhanced mechanical properties and its ability to significantly increase the shelf life of the food product. However, it is difficult to recycle because the individual layers cannot be separated or sorted by common mechanical recycling technologies.

 

The other component used to create B40 is plastic-coated paper carton, which is a laminate of paper, aluminum foil, and several layers of plastic film. The material is used for the ubiquitous Tetra Pak beverage, milk, and food cartons. Plastic-coated paper carton is also difficult to recycle because the individual layers cannot be separated.   

 

The moulded sample in the PositivePlastics material sample kit is made from post-industrial recycled materials, but it is also possible to use post-consumer recycled materials, if the materials are cleaned thoroughly before processing. 

 

B40 is manufactured by processing coated paper cartons using a new patented recycling technology that breaks the aluminum down into very small pieces and separates and distributes the cellulose fibres within the paper, so there are no residual paper fragments left. The resulting material is mixed with molten multi-layered plastic film and additives. The cellulose fibres significantly increase the tensile strength and rigidity of the material.

Material properties

  • Flexural Modulus (MPa): 2000

  • Tensile Strength (MPa): 43

  • Strain at break (%): 7.5

  • Izod Notched Impact Strength, +23°C  (kJ/m2): 5.0 

  • Density (kg/m³): 1.06

  • Melt Mass-Flow Rate (230°C,5kg g/10min): 4.1

Positive Plastics_ApfuB40

Technical benefits

The mechanical properties of this material are on the same level as most unfilled virgin engineering plastics, such as ABS or PBT, and can in certain applications be considered a replacement for them.

Look and feel

The material has a nice matte surface, and you can see the evenly distributed metallic flakes from the shredded plastic-coated paper carton within the plastic. The natural colour is dark grey and it can be coloured to produce other dark shades of blue, green, red, etc.

Environmental benefits

Because of the difficulty in recycling, a high percentage of both post-consumer plastic-coated paper cartons and multi-layered plastic film is incinerated or landfilled. This new process enables the recycling of these materials into a cellulose fibre-reinforced plastic composite that can replace virgin fossil-based plastics in many applications, while contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions. 

Applications

Cable ducts, shipping pallets, ballpoint pens, electrical appliances, and furniture. 

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Why we chose this material 

We have never before seen post-consumer cartons and multi-layered plastic film recycled to such a high-quality material. 

Why you should consider this material

  • You have a chance to promote a material that solves a tough recycling issue.

  • Your customers can easily recognize and relate to the source of the recycled material. 

  • You need a polymer with increased stiffness. 

  • You are seeking a material with a speckled, recycled look.

About the manufacturer

APFU (Advanced Paper Fibre Upcycling Technology) is developed by Furukawa Electric Company Limited based in Japan. Furukawa Electric Group is a conglomerate with more than 100 companies and more than 50.000 employees.  

The APFU technology is patented, and the company is partnering with recyclers in local markets who can license the technology. The company can help you source the material if it is not available from a recycler in your area.