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Poly Product Made From Wool
A new plastic product is made by combining wool with corn starch to make products lighter, stronger, harder and more durable. New Zealanders created the fiber-rich poly to add value to otherwise low-value rough wool, including bellies, sides and odd pieces.
    Inventor Logan Williams was invited by the New Zealand Merino Company to help save the wool industry. It was costing more to shear the sheep than the wool was worth. He developed the Keravos process to combine wool and polylactic acid (PLA) from corn starch. Williams described the project’s success in a talk at a New Zealand ag summit.
    “The world uses 300 million tons of plastic each year,” says Williams, Shear Edge. “We can take any wool and bond with any polymer to create pellets or powder. Any company can take our pellets and integrate them into their factory without changing anything.”
    Although the initial effort was with PLA, a biopolymer, the process can also use wool with any synthetic polymer. The Keravos process ensures that the wool fibers are encapsulated as a matrix within the polymer. As a result, the fibers do not permeate the surface of the end products, where they could biodegrade.
    With parent company New Zealand Merino, Williams has established Shear Edge to market the pellets and the process. New Zealand companies are already making battens for high tensile fencing, kayaks, and even catamarans with the pellets. They are even being used for knives and calf feeders.
    “We have several brand partners who are overseas,” says Thomas Nye, Shear Edge. “Any company with manufacturing ability globally can trial our wool blend composites, and we welcome contact.”
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Shear Edge, 123 Victoria St., Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, 8013 New Zealand (ph 03 335-0911; www.shear-edge.com).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #3