While Energy is paramount here at SIS and is what we are best at, we also know that the manufacturer’s we work with are more concerned with their products than they are with energy efficiency, so we tend to keep an eye out for sustainable new technology. Recently, I found a couple of products that should get any manufacturer thinking: shrilk and soy based adhesive tape.
Shrilk is a “material similar in strength and toughness to aluminum alloys, but is only half the weight.” It is also extremely inexpensive to produce because it is made from discarded shrimp shells, biodegradable and biocompatible. What should be alarming to manufacturers is that it is showing serious promise as a plastic replacement. Imagine what an easily manufacturable, petrochemical free plastic replacement would do to the marketplace.
The second product I recently came across was a soy based adhesive tape out of Oregon State University. Professor Kaichang Li developed this product after examining mussels and attempting to mimic their ability to stay attached to slippery rocks while being battered by the ocean. Like Shrilk this product is petrochemical free, environmentally benign, and inexpensive to make. Most importantly to manufacturers, Dr. Li is looking to enter the $26 Billion global pressure –sensitive tape market.
Despite just being interesting these products should be terrifying to manufacturers who aren’t thinking about alternative materials because while the end of plastic isn’t here yet, the writing is on the wall.