What is it?
This is a compound of a tough thermoplastic elastomer filled with 50% crushed oyster shells. The oyster shell particles within the plastic reflect light, creating an intriguing sparkle effect. The elastomer is a polyether block amide made up of bio-based polyamide 11 blocks (polyamide is often referred to as nylon) made from castor oil,
and softer polyether blocks. This specific grade is semi-rigid (72 Shore D hardness) and features 98% bio-based content. Altogether, this grade is 99% bio-based.
Tensile Modulus (MPa): 760
Yield Strength (MPa): 24
Yield strain (%): 50
Density (kg/m³): 1,5kg/cm3
The base polymer for this specific grade is a TPE-A named Pebax70® RNew supplied by Arkema. Within the family of thermoplastic elastomers, TPE-A represents the higher end of mechanical performance and wide service temperature area. For example, the material’s consistency of mechanical properties at low temperatures makes it most suitable for skiing boots.
Look and feel
The oyster shell particles embedded in the polymer give the material a distinct and exclusive look and feel.
The polyamide 11 polymer in the base polymer is derived 100% from castor oil which is sourced from the castor bean plant predominantly grown in India. This plant grows in dry and marginal soils not suitable for food production or forestry. The beans are crushed to extract the natural oil, which is then refined and polymerized. The remaining organic material is used as a natural fertilizer.
The crushed oyster shells are a bio-renewable waste product from the food industry sourced from France. The shells are denatured before being crushed so there is no organic oyster left and it will therefore not present a problem for people with seafood allergies.
Because of its pleasant appearance, Qilin is well suited for consumer products such as eyewear, shoes, jewelry, perfume flasks, exclusive packaging, decorative items, and furniture.
Why we chose this material
The material is a good example of a bio-based plastic that is suitable for high-end consumer products. We just love the story behind, using this unique waste material to create a new material from.
Why you should consider this material
You seek a high-performance bio-based material with an exclusive look and feel
You are looking for a material with a unique waste-upcycling story
About the manufacturer
The Authentic Material company specializes in creating new materials using streams of unexploited natural materials. The company can also convert scrap materials and unused stock from manufacturers into materials that can be used by the same manufacturer for new products.
Besides Qilin with crushed oyster shells, the company also supplies a grade filled with scrap leather and another with fragments of animal horn.