Sustainable polyamides

AKROMID® NEXT

Sonnenblumen
AKROMID® NEXT: PA 6.9, PA 6.10, PA 5.6, PA 5.10, PA 11

Overview of sustainable polyamides

With AKROMID® NEXT, we offer innovative and sustainable alternatives to conventional nylons. This new product line has bio-based, biomass balanced or chemically recycled content. Some products are offered with ISCC PLUS or REDcert² sustainability certification.

The majority of polyamides used in plastics processing are produced from fossil raw materials and have a comparatively high CO₂ footprint for polymers. Substitution by polymers with a lower CO₂ footprint, such as polyolefins and polyesters, is not possible in many cases due to the technical properties required. 

Polyamides that are fully or partially biobased offer an alternative from the same polymer class and thus comparable material and processing properties. The use of biomass for the production of polyamides reduces dependence on fossil resources as well as greenhouse gas emissions, because plant-based raw materials absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, which is not further emitted at the end of the product life cycle.

AKRO productname
Monomer 1
Monomer 2
Raw material
Biobased carbon content
PA 6
AKROMID® NEXT B

ε-Caprolactam (mass-balanced)

ε-Caprolactam (massebilanziert)

Tall oil

Mass-balanced
PA 6.6
AKROLEN® NEXT A
Hexamethylendiamine

Adipic acid (mass-balanced)

Tall oil

Mass-balanced
PA 6.9
AKROMID® NEXT G
Hexamethylendiamine

Azelaic acid

Sunflower oil

57 %
PA 6.10
AKROMID® NEXT S
Hexamethylendiamine

Sebacic acid

Castor oil

62 %
PA 5.6
AKROMID® NEXT 5.6

Pentamethylendiamine

Adipic acid

Corn

41 %
PA 5.10
AKROMID® NEXT 5.10

Pentamethylendiamine

Sebacic acid

Corn/Castor oil

100 %
PA 11
AKROMID® NEXT U

11-Aminoundecaoic acid

11-Aminoundecaoic acid

Castor oil

92 %
PP
AKROLEN® NEXT PP

Propylene (mass-balanced)

Propylene (massebilanziert)

Waste oil/Fet

Mass-balanced

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BIOMASS-BALANCED POLYAMIDE 6 and Polyamide 6.6

AKROMID® NEXT A and B

In addition to biobased polyamides, compounds made from biomass-balanced polyamide 6 or polyamide 6.6 are also available. In contrast to bio-based polymers, finished products are manufactured in the same process as their fossil-based counterparts using the mass balance method. Some of the fossil-based raw materials are replaced by biobased alternatives. A certification process (ISCC PLUS) is used to allocate the biobased raw materials to some of the finished products so that the resulting quality is absolutely identical to the fossil product - but with a significantly reduced carbon footprint.

Biomass-balanced polyamide 6 and polyamide 6.6 can therefore be used as a drop-in solution for the complete variety of existing PA compounds - no new technical qualification or even conversion of the user's processes is necessary. Biomass-balanced PA 6 is produced from the biocircular raw material tall oil, a bio-based by-product from the paper industry. Due to the inclusion of biogenic carbon in the LCA balance, the carbon footprint of the polymer is more than halved compared to the European average value for PA 6 of 4.52 kg CO2eq/kg (source: Plastics Europe, 2022).

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In the AKRO-PLASTIC nomenclature, the only change to a biomass-balanced product besides the abbreviation "NEXT" is the term in brackets, which also contains the suffix "BMBCI" (Biomass Balanced Certified ISCC PLUS). The formulation number and all product specifications remain the same as for the fossil variant.

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Chemically recycled polyamide 6

Another sustainable raw material source is chemically recycled PA 6 based on pyrolysis oil, which is obtained from post-consumer recyclates and thus helps to conserve valuable fossil resources. The mass balance process is also used here, meaning that a large number of existing PA 6 formulations are available as chemically recycled variants. In contrast to mechanically recycled polymers, there are no restrictions in terms of quality. In the nomenclature, these products are identified by the suffix "CMBCI" (Chemical Recycling Mass Balanced Certified ISCC PLUS).

biomass-balanced polyamide 6

AKROMID® NEXT

Under the brand name AKROMID® NEXT, compounds made of biomass-balanced polyamide 6 are available. In contrast to the biobased polymers, the mass balance process produces finished products in the same process as the fossil counterparts. Some of the fossil raw materials are replaced by biobased alternatives. Via a certification process (ISCC PLUS), the biobased raw materials are allocated to part of the finished products, so that the resulting quality is absolutely identical to the fossil product - but with a significantly reduced CO2 footprint.

Biomass-balanced polyamide 6 can therefore be used as a drop-in solution for the complete variety of existing PA6 compounds - no new technical qualification at the user's site is necessary. Biomass-balanced PA6 is produced from the bio-circular raw material tall oil, a by-product from the paper industry. Due to the inclusion of biogenic carbon in the LCA balance, the CO2 footprint of the polymer is more than halved compared to the European average for PA6 of 4.52 kg CO2eq/kg (source: Plastics Europe, 2022).

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Innovative and sustainable polyamide

AKROMID® NEXT G, 5.6, 5.10

AKROMID® NEXT G3 GF 30 1 L CR black (8314) is a glass fibre reinforced PA 6.9/PP blend with biobased content and suitable for weight-reduced, sustainable applications. PA 6.9 is partially biobased (sunflower oil). In addition, the product is certified according to REDcert²: 33 % (allocation factor*) of the fossil raw materials are replaced by sustainably certified, biomass balanced PP.

General advantages of PA/PP blends under AKROMID® LITE.

With AKROMID® NEXT G3 GF 30 1 natural (8085), a non-blended variant with 30% glass fibre is also available. AKROMID® NEXT G is technically suitable to replace PA 6 in many common applications.

The partly biobased AKROMID® NEXT 5.6 3 GF 30 natural (8405) is a HMD-free (hexamethylenediamine) alternative to conventional PA 6.6 compounds with comparable properties. For example, the melting point of 253°C is only about 10°C lower than PA 6.6. PA 5.6 has a lower CO2 footprint and is partly produced from renewable raw materials ( biobased share = 45%*). Increased moisture absorption should be noted. For components with increased impact loads, we also offer AKROMID® NEXT 5.6 3 GF 30 S3 black (8444), a dry impact modified version, also with 30% glass fibre reinforcement. 

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Reduced water absorption and increased chemical resistance

Resistance to CaCl2

The base polymer of AKROMID® NEXT 5.10 3 GF 30 natural (8406) is up to 100%² biobased. The properties are similar to the partly biobased PA 6.10. Due to the longer repeating unit, both PA 6.9 and PA 5.10 have a lower proportion of the characteristic amide groups, which leads to reduced water absorption and increased chemical resistance. The figure shows an example of resistance to CaCl2, which is used for example in road salt to lower the freezing point or as a dust binder for unpaved roads.

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Degree of aging

Hot air storage causes thermooxidative damage to the surface of polyamides, resulting in discoloration and loss of mechanical properties, a process also known as aging. The process occurs primarily at the surface, leaving an undamaged core, as shown in the figure. The thickness of the oxidized layer is a visual measure of the degree of aging.

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Heat aging test at 180 °C

In the heat aging test at 180 °C, the behavior of the considered biobased polyamides is between PA 6 and the more vulnerable PA 6.6, which can be seen in the drop of tensile strength (see figure).

Of course, AKROMID® NEXT compounds contain a heat stabilization, which strongly improves the aging behavior.


Innovative and sustainable polyamide

AKROMID® NEXT U

AKROMID® NEXT U ICF are carbon fiber reinforced PA 11 compounds that combine performance with sustainability. In addition to the injection molding process, these compounds are also particularly suitable for industrial 3D printing.

The PA 11 is made from castor seed oil (bio-based content > 92%). The carbon fibers are processed from residues of carbon fiber mats (post-industrial recycling content = 100%). In addition, the compounds enable sustainable lightweight construction by combining low density with high rigidity and strength.

Due to the long carbon chain of the monomer, molded parts made from AKROMID® NEXT U have low moisture absorption, which results in high dimensional stability and a low influence of moisture on the mechanical properties. This is a major advantage over molded parts made from conventional polyamides such as PA 6 or PA 6.6.

3D printing

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Nachhaltige flammgeschützte Compounds

AKROMID® NEXT FR

Insbesondere bei Anwendungen mit Flammschutzanforderungen sind Rezyklate als nachhaltige Rohstoffquelle oft ungeeignet, weil durch Verunreinigungen bzw. Schwankungen im Ausgangsmaterial die Flammschutzeigenschaften nicht sicher erreicht werden können. Daher ist es gerade für diese Produkte sinnvoll, biobasierte Varianten einzusetzen um den CO2-Fußabdruck zu senken, da diese sich durch kontrollierte Neuwarequalität auszeichnen.

Alle Flammschutzcompounds basierend auf PA6 und PA6.6 sind auch als biomassebilanzierte Variante erhältlich, wobei nicht nur massebilanzierte Polymerrohstoffe zum Einsatz kommen, sondern auch ein zertifiziert nachhaltiges Flammschutzmittel, welches zudem frei von Halogenen, Antimontrioxid und rotem Phosphor ist.

Daneben ist auch biobasierten Polyamide mit Flammschutzausrüstung erhältlich. AKROMID® NEXT 5.6 3 GF 35 9 FR natur (8401) erreicht die Klassifizierung UL94 V0 bei 1,6 mm und eignet sich für Bauteile mit hohen Anforderungen an die Festigkeit für den E&E-Markt und die E-Mobilität. Es stellt eine HMD-freie (Hexamethylendiamin) Alternative zu PA 6.6 mit vergleichbaren Eigenschaften dar. Das teilweise biobasierte PA 6.9 mit dem Namen AKROMID® NEXT G3 K8 9 FR LA weiß (8261) erfüllt UL94 V2 und GWFI 960 °C und behält einen hohen CTI von 600 V. Das Material ist zu 20 % glasfaserverstärkt und mit einem dunklen Farbumschlag lasermarkierbar, was gut zu den Anforderungen des E&E-Marktes z.B. für Reihenklemmen passt.

AKROMID® NEXT FR

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AKROMID® NEXT Compounds

Here you will find information that applies to all products of the AKROMID® NEXT series

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ISCC PLUS and REDcert² Certificate

By using sustainable material flows, we contribute to saving fossil resources.

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Compound Explorer

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Definition

Sustainable plastic compounds

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Applications

NEWS Interplay of design + material

The application of bionic bio-fan made of the PA-6.10 compound AKROMID® S convinces by a high biogenic C content. In addition, the component weight was reduced and a high dimensional consistency was achieved with our material. Learn more about the project in our Sucess story.

Success story

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Compound Explorer

Disclaimer: All specifications and information given on this website are based on our current knowledge and experience. A legally binding promise of certain characteristics or suitability for a concrete individual case cannot be derived from this information. The information supplied here is not intended to release processors and users from the responsibility of carrying out their own tests and inspections in each concrete individual case. AKROMID®, AKROLEN®, AKROLOY®, AKROTEK®, ICX®, PRECITE® and DIA(hr)LOG® are registered trademarks of AKRO-PLASTIC GmbH.