North Carolina, US – Trelleborg and Algenesis Materials have signed a collaboration agreement, with the engineered polymer specialist set to use sustainable TPUs from Algenesis in its engineered fabric coatings.
Raw materials for the TPUs made by Algenesis are extracted from algae and non-food plants. These are formulated into bio-based, biodegradable replacements for petroleum-based TPUs. Through the collaboration, sustainable TPUs appropriate for Trelleborg’s coatings will be developed.
Initial trials indicated that the Algenesis polymer has similar performance to the existing materials used by Trelleborg in these applications. The hopes are that it will reduce microplastic pollution in the environment, as well as be cheaper.
“The world needs alternatives to petroleum-based plastics that pollute our environment and create microplastics," said Algenesis CEO Stephen Mayfield. “Algenesis, teaming with Trelleborg, can offer a viable, price-competitive TPU-coated fabric alternative. It is fantastic to have a high-end manufacturer like Trelleborg recognise the potential of sustainable TPUs, and their knowledge of customers’ needs will enable us to quickly develop these TPUs for commercial applications.”
Algenesis has also recently received a contract from the US Department of Energy to scale up its manufacturing capabilities for the sustainable TPU technology. This proposal was supported by Trelleborg.