Research Exhibition

Welcome to the ValueBioMat online research exhibition!
Here, some chosen research results are presented in form of Research Cases.

Research Case 1

Author: Henri Wiman, Jaakko Siltaloppi, Anna Leinonen

Simulation Modelling Plastics Circulation


What are high-impact intervention points for increasing circularity?

  • With simulation modelling we can test alternative assumptions at the macro level , while considering uncertainties
  • We test different changes to this system, and observe how linear and circular flows change in the system.
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Research Case 2

Author: Alireza Jaribion

Impact of Bio-Based Packaging on Supply Chains


What are the implications of bio-based packaging (BBP) on supply chain complexity, and how does the adoption of BBP within companies vary based on these implications?

  • We examined two BBP solutions—Coca Cola’s PlantBottle and Kalaneuvos EcoFishBox—as our case studies, selecting the end-product manufacturer’s perspective to analyze supply chain complexity and its implications for BBP adoption.
  • Our findings reveal that BBP has the most significant influence on upstream and internal manufacturing complexities.
  • Moreover, by paying specific attention not only to the material but also to the logistics, assembly, and recyclability of the new packages at the customer’s end, BBP implementation can decrease supply chain complexity to support BBP adoption.
  • Our study also provides insights for managers to consider supply chain complexity in the design of sustainable packaging solutions, which can increase production efficiency and lower the cost of BBP, thus removing additional barriers from the adoption of sustainable packaging solutions.
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Research Case 3

Authors: Laura Äkräs, Marjatta Vahvaselkä, Frans Silvenius, Jukka Seppälä, Hannu Ilvesniemi

A Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Framework and Analysis of Plant-based Oils to Produce Bio-based Plastics


What is the performance, and therefore suitability, of the selected plant-based oils to produce bio-based plastics?

  • A criteria-based Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) framework consisting of two MCDM techniques, four scenarios with different weights of importance, and two datasets was constructed to evaluate the selected plant-based oils with a basis on their sustainability and technoeconomic characteristics
  • The MCDM results were influenced by the dissimilar algorithm of Technique for Order Preference and Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) and Simple Additive Weighting (SAW) techniques together with the developed MCDM framework
  • Tall, linseed, soybean, and palm oil showed the most suitable and palm kernel, coconut, and sunflower oil the least suitable performance with their feature trade-offs to produce bio-based plastics
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Research Case 4

Author: Hossein Baniasadi

Synthesis of bio-based and CO2 capturing polymers for 3D printing


Sustainable polymer solutions are often compromises of materials characteristics versus environmental benefits. What bio-based polymers and composites can compete with or outperform fossil-based polymers while being carbon capturing? 

  • We have developed a family of bio-based polyamides (PA) with mechanical and thermal properties comparable to fossil-based polymers. 
  • Moreover, high-performance composites have been created utilizing chemical compatibilization, through surface modification of the bio-based fillers.

Research Case 5

Authors: Research Team

Forecasting Legal and Ethical Paths for Minimizing Extractivism through 3D Printing Technologies


Many products that we regularly consume are based on damaging and unsustainable ‘extractivist’ practices. (Info on Extractivism)
The aim of this research work is to identify alternative perspectives on the future of extractivism and the associated production system, as well as to understand how 3D printing when supported by law and policy could help minimize it.

Design credit: Amna Qureshi, Doctoral Candidate, Faculty of Art and Design, University of Lapland

  • In order to achieve this, we follow a three-phased approach utilising scenarios – linking together impacting factors from wide-ranging fields into narratives on how the future will develop itself and what impact it will have on the social-ecological systems. (Info on Methodology)
  • Initial outcome includes four scenarios that narrate alternative perspectives on extractivism in the year 2032, the associated production system with its enablers, and the consumer mindset and governmental actions that led to the respective future states. These scenarios help at challenging the prevailing mind-set of consumers and producers and help various actors with options to react to the change quickly.
  • The final outcome will be a journal article (manuscript is currently under preperation), and will include an implementation roadmap that could potentially aid the stakeholders in prioritizing goals for moving away from extractivism
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Research Case 6

Authors: Siddharth Jayaprakash, Humberto Almeida, Kari Kolari, Hossein Baniasadi, Tuukka Verho, Niklas Kretzschmar, Kirsi Kukko, Kirsi Immonen, Sini Metsä-Kortelainen, Jukka Seppälä, and Jouni Partanen

Continuous-carbon-fiber-reinforced 3D printing of polyamides and print path optimization


Novel approach for reinforcing polymers and optimizing end-use parts with long continuous fibers, thereby improving the overall strength.

  • Prototypes are made with commercially available copolyamide, and a bio-based PA11 filament made at VTT (from commercial material).
  • Tensile tests are conducted for CCF-reinforced specimen 3D printed with commercial copolyamide filament.
  • This work is supported by modeling and simulation with a goal to find the best fiber placement configurations.
    • Numerical simulation is an important part in the optimisation and the development of fibre reinforced specimen.
    • A procedure to generate FE-mesh with fibre information has been proposed and programmed.
  • Material analysis has been carried out for the virgin material and the 3D printed specimen.
  • Future work is aimed at 3D printing optimized designs (optimized print path from the simulation work) utilizing bio-based polyamides.

Research Case 7

Author: Pyry Päivölä and Jaakko Siltaloppi

Socio-technical transition to a sustainable plastics economy


How can brand owners contribute to a system-level transition toward sustainable plastics?

  • Integration of sustainability demands in existing business models: Leveraging sustainable plastics for competitive advantage allows brand owners to respond to growing demand for sustainable materials while continuing to exploit established business models.
  • Pursuit of parallel development avenues: Collaborative innovation with value chain partners organized through pilot projects allows brand owners to experiment with novel materials and supply chain solutions in small scale. Involvement in infrastructure development for plastics circulation through incremental development of product designs, material supply chains, technologies for recycling.
  • Contribution to system-level transition through incremental changes: a) Progressive experimentation with novel solutions, when engaging other players in the material value chain, can accumulate into new value chain arrangements that support efficient and effective material circulation. Impacts the plastics value chain by creating new system-level solutions. b) Growing demands for sustainable materials and packaging drives gradual adaptation in the business logic of brand owners, reinforces the business case for the use of sustainable materials. Impacts the plastics value chain by increasing the scope of sustainability-oriented actions.
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  • Small link designs are 3D printed with PETG reinforced with CCF as infill, utilizing Anisoprint Composer A4.
  • Links were also 3D printed with solid PETG, without any reinforcement, for strength comparison.
  • Lifting demo was carried out utilizing an in-house gantry crane and a wooden pallet attached to the CCF-reinforced link.
  • Both the reinforced and solid PETG links were pulled in a universal testing machine – the reinforced link was able to withstand twice as much load before fiber breakage, compared to the solid plastic link that experienced a brittle fracture.

Research Case 8

Authors: Kirsi Kukko and Siddharth Jayaprakash

Continuous-carbon-fiber-reinforced 3D printing of a small link design and its lifting demo


To demonstrate a novel approach for reinforcing polymers with long continuous fibers, thereby improving the overall strength. We aimed to visually demonstrate the improved load-carrying capacity of a ring design 3D printed with PETG as the matrix polymer and continuous-carbon-fiber (CCF) as the reinforcement.

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Research Case 9

Author: Jon Trifol, Siddharth Jayaprakash, Hossein Baniasadi, Rubina Ajdary, Niklas Kretzschmar, Orlando Rojas, Jouni Partanen, Jukka Seppälä

3D-Printed Thermoset Biocomposites Based on Forest Residues by Delayed Extrusion of Cold Masterbatch (DECMA)


The objective of this work is to revalorize lignin and sawdust via 3D printing using bioepoxy as a carrier. However just the incorporation of these particles within the polymer matrix does not improve the rheological properties of the bioepoxy enough to be 3D printable. Keeping this in mind, we sought to shift the burden in 3D printing from materials to a processing method, so otherwise unprintable materials can be printed.

  • We propose a new 3D-printing processing technique termed Delayed Extrusion of Cold Masterbatch (DECMA), which enables the 3D printing of thermoset biocomposites.
  • A bioepoxy-based ink containing a 20% of sawdust and 15% of lignin (with a total bio-based content of 58–71%) was developed.
    • The incorporation of lignin and sawdust increased the starting viscosity of the mixture from 103 to 105 mPa·s and provided shear-thinning behavior without affecting the curing kinetic.
    • In DECMA, the degree of curing of the ink is controlled via time/temperature conditions. The ink is cooled down to stop the reaction and the 3D printing is started.
  • It was found that the ink was not printable using the direct printing approach, but using DECMA, several parts (i.e., cuboids, adjoining lines, parallel lines, and honeycomb) were successfully 3D printed.
  • Additionally, 3D-printed parts could easily be machined, thereby showcasing potential for hybrid manufacturing.
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