PLA-PLA Single Polymer Composite


Arapaha is a design firm that focuses on consumer products where circularity is key. Recently, new materials have entered the market that have the potential to be easily recycled. These are composites based on strong PLA fibres in a PLA matrix. These materials come in the form of blending yarns, fabrics or non-wovens, composed of provided PLA fibres and ‘regular’ PLA fibres. The latter have a lower melting point than the provided fibres. When this semi-finished product (the prepreg) is compressed at a certain temperature, the plain PLA will melt and the provided fibres will eventually be enclosed by a PLA matrix.

TPAC and the research group Industrial Design from Saxion will explore ways in which these materials can be processed into products. Successively, the following tasks will be carried out:

  1. Investigation of possible processing techniques and associated processing parameters with the various semi-finished products available.
  2. Assessment of the resulting composites (including mechanical properties).
  3. Design and manufacture of some characteristic products (e.g. a tube and a 3D formed shell part).
  4. Investigation of the environmental impact and recycling potential of these products.

Project partners

Arapaha, Saxion Industrial Design


6 months, Start in April 2022


Financed by ‘Fieldlab Circular Innovations in de Maakindustrie.’

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