Based on its recent research on the natural fiber composites market, Frost & Sullivan (F&S) presented Mondi with the 2013 Global Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation Leadership Award for FIBROMER®, its natural fiber composite that offers superior mechanical performance with significant weight reduction. This makes it an ideal replacement for polymers and polymer compounds in a number of industries, including the automotive sector.
Mondi is an international packaging and paper group, with production operations across 30 countries and revenues of €5.8 billion in 2012. It has leveraged years of expertise in the paper and pulp industry to develop this innovative and revolutionary product.
Manufactured through a proprietary compounding technology that homogenously mixes pulp with polymer granules, FIBROMER® exhibits superior performance attributes when compared to short-glass fiber, other natural fibers, and talc-filled composites. The lower density of the material combined with the incorporation of cellulosic fibers in optimal proportion makes the finished components much lighter than before. Since FIBROMER® is highly compatible with injection moulding processes; it also helps reduce fabrication time by up to 30 percent.
"This is very relevant today as OEMs and Tier-I suppliers are increasingly relying on high volume processing," said F&S Industry Analyst Deepak Karthikeyan. "FIBROMER® also enables higher productivity, higher tensile strength, increased stiffness, higher heat distortion temperature, and lower density of the final composite part."
Benefits to Injection Moulder:
1. Faster injection moulding cycles: up to 30% time reduction
2. Lower process temperature
3. Renewable raw material from sustainable sources (cellulose fibers)
4. Constant quality of the fibers
5. Year-round availability of raw material
Benefits to Original Equipment Manufacturers
1. Lower density compared to other filled compounds
2. Low odor compared to other lignocellulosic fibers
3. Higher material strength: up to 100% tensile strength
4. Low carbon footprint
5. Easy colouring
Given these features, FIBROMER® is expected to rapidly penetrate its targeted markets. The automotive market, in particular, is demanding sustainable solutions. In the wake of European carbon emission legislations, which mandate all carmakers to achieve a target of 95g per km by 2020, as well as end-of-life vehicle legislation, FIBROMER® will help address a significant part of the challenge by making cars more recyclable and sustainable. Further, easy processability and parts integration will enable considerable cost reduction, translating into increased return-on-investment (ROI) for customers. In all, FIBROMER® has clear advantages for injection moulders and original equipment manufacturers, compared with other composites used in manufacturing, such as those containing short glass fiber, talcum and other natural fibers.
Overall, Mondi's innovative natural fiber composite offers outstanding advantages when compared to competing products and is the worthy recipient of the 2013 Global New Product Innovation Leadership Award. Each year, F&S presents this award to the company that has developed an innovative element in a product by leverage leading-edge technologies. The award recognizes the value added features/benefits of the product and the increased ROI it offers customers, which in turn increases customer acquisition and overall market penetration potential.