MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - Tuesday August 31, 2010 - Based on its recent analysis of the biopolymers market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Solegear Bioplastics Inc. (Solegear) with the 2010 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product Innovation of the Year for its Polysole® Bioplastic. This innovative high-performance biodegradable polymer compound is 100 percent biobased.
"Solegear with its dedicated focus on research and development for four continuous years has been able to overcome the challenges of producing biopolymers for high-performance applications," says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Deepan Kannan. "Besides being completely biobased, Solegear’s polymer utilizes proprietary additives that are entirely natural and organic. The company has, thus, ensured that the there is no compromise on the renewable content of the material due to its compounding."
In general in today’s market, although base biopolymers come from a natural feedstock, compounding of these biopolymers for additional performance is accomplished using synthetic additives. Therefore, many of the biopolymers that are used for engineering applications are blended with other oil-based polymers, which lead to a significant reduction in the renewable content of the compounded bioplastic. Polysole® Bioplastic is 100 per cent biobased.
Polysole® has adequate properties – high impact strength, tensile strength and processing efficiency – for engineering applications such as automotive, electronics and medical devices. The polymer can be processed using all the conventional techniques such as extrusion, blow molding and injection molding. Further, Solegear, with its proprietary technology has managed to offer a polymer in which the extent of biodegradation can be varied based on the end-use requirements. Hence, the product retains its molecular integrity like that of its oil-based counterparts used in high-end applications, until specific compost conditions are met.
Compounding technology is an essential step in the production of polymer compounds, as it determines the final properties of the polymer. Solegear has developed a cutting-edge compounding technology that aids in the manufacture of Polysole®. Therefore, with this proprietary technology in place, the company is able to produce polymers that offer high-strength properties as well as superior flow properties.
Leveraging on its unique compounding technology, the company has also developed another innovative product Traverse® Biocomposites, a hybrid material that is made using rice husks and other natural materials. The Traverse® range of products are biocomposites based on oil-based thermoplastics such as PE, PP, PET and Nylon, that will be offered in a varying degree of biobased content depending on the customer requirements. Typically, the products can be designed to offer up to 60 percent renewable content. The range also has a version of compound, Traverse® Recycled that contains up to 98% recycled polymer/fiber content. This reiterates the company’s commitment to environmental responsibility.
The Polysole® Bioplastic products are available in three different grades for various applications. Polysole® TF is an engineered thermoplastic resin for thermoforming and extrusion to manufacture films and sheets. Polysole® LV is a low-viscosity grade specifically designed for the processors looking for low cycle times. Polysole® XD is the high-performance grade with increased impact strength and flexibility. These grades can be customized and used in customers’ existing processing lines without any significant modifications such as shutting down or retooling of the system. This results in increased throughput and enables the customer to gain additional cost savings and efficiencies.
"Besides offering its customers the material that best suits their needs, Solegear goes a step ahead in its commitment to providing its customers with the necessary raw data about carbon emissions and oil consumption in their specific fields of application," notes Kannan. "This enhances value for its customers, as they in turn use the data for encouraging their own customers to use biobased products. Such an initiative also increases its customer’s scope for marketing their products and also increases the company’s brand value in the realm of environmental accountability."
Solegear aims to get a strong foothold in the biopolymers market. Initially focusing on consumer products, the company aims to gradually expand its presence into automotive, electronics and medical through a focused marketing strategy. Solegear has strategic partnerships with suppliers and polymer developers in the biopolymers market. Efficient marketing strategy and partnerships are bound to help the company in achieving increased penetration in the biopolymers market.
For all these achievements, Solegear is the worthy recipient of the 2010 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product Innovation of the Year in the biopolymers market. Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to a company that has developed an innovative element in a product by leveraging 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.
Frost & Sullivan’s Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
About Solegear Bioplastics Inc.
Solegear, based in Vancouver, BC, designs, produces and distributes high-performance bioplastics. Founded in 2006, Solegear has worked in R&D for four years with an international team of scientists to develop Polysole® – a 100% natural, non-toxic, high performance biodegradable plastic. Solegear has also recently launched Traverse® - a complementary, high-performance bioplastic that uniquely blends natural fibres with traditional plastics.
About Frost & Sullivan
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Solegear Bioplastics Inc.