Extron-Mecanor is a part of a PIHI project, a sustainable polymer film solution, a research and development project in Pirkanmaa, Finland. The main implementer of the project is technical research center of Finland VTT and the secondary implementers are Tampere university of applied sciences TAMK and Ekokumppanit Oy, a company of sustainability experts. In addition to these three, nine local companies are also part of the project to develop sustainable polymer films. The project is also meant to develop a center of sustainable polymer film solutions in Pirkanmaa.

During the project, in the facilities of VTT processing parameters and properties of polymer films is being developed and studied. The studies are done with polymer mixture with virgin polymers and varying amounts of recycled polymers. From the polymer film test run results, VTT and other partners are able to study the behavior of the recycled polymer as a film on its own and the effects recycled polymer has on a processability and the grade of the end product of a multilayered film with virgin polymer. In addition to previous studies, the sustainability of the final product is studied.

One of the aspects of the project is the development of the testing environment for TAMK, where biodegradation and compostability of polymer films can be measured. Both biodegradation and compostability will be measured according to ISO standards, so the measurements will be compatible for global markets.

Companies taking part in the project cover a wide range of different parts of polymer film production. Companies work as material suppliers, machine suppliers, film production and film product manufacturers and post-treatment providers. With this large array of companies, the project will focus on many aspects regarding various parts of polymer film production and treatment. The project also provides a network for the companies to increase their connections, competition and growth, further increasing rate that new sustainable products come to the market.

Extron-Mecanor has supplied equipment and instruments for VTT for their roll-to-roll cast film line and extruders to make the test runs. With the information gained from the material processing, we can give our customers information about the general processing windows for both biobased polymers and mixtures of virgin and recycled materials. These values make it easier for our customers to produce perfect polymer film.

Processing line used during the project
Extron-Mecanor hopes that our partners will benefit from the results of this project with us, so we can provide better knowledge for more sustainable polymer film production.