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When innovation meets bio-based products

News International-French

21 Feb 2011

Cimteclab S.p.A. is a research and development company that belongs to the Cimtec holding group, with manufacturing facilities in Europe, Asia and South America. Cimteclab specializes in various fields of application including bio-polymers, composites, protective coatings and flame retardants.



Cimteclab is a fast-growing company currently investing millions of euros in the production of three key products brands: Exaphen®, Nanofire® and Silaneat. With more than 10 years of R&D experience, Cimteclab strives to develop innovative solutions to meet its customers’ needs by focusing on competitiveness and environmental sustainability.




The Exaphen® brand includes a wide range of monomers and polymers derived from bio-renewable sources for the production of polymers, resins and composites. These products combine low contents of petroleum derivatives, high-end performance and economical competitiveness.


Environmental sustainability has been one of the most discussed issues of the past decade. The Exaphen® technology re-uses food and agriculture industry by-products to avoid additional raw material sources and to minimise the ecological footprint. More specifically, Exaphen® products are derived from cardanol, produced by the distillation of cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL). The phenolic structure of these products provides several advantages like formulation versatility, chemical resistance and mechanical strength, thus leading the way in the production of high-performance materials. Two lines of products are currently available, Polycard and Novocard, providing solutions to a variety of markets, including automotive, aerospace, construction, marine, home and utilities, coatings and packaging.




Polycard™ products are cardanol-based polyols that can be used as ingredients in a wide range of polyurethane formulations comprising rigid insulating foams, flexible slab stocks and moulded foams, adhesives and sealants. Polyurethanes produced with Polycard polyols have a final biorenewable content higher than 66% and several additional advantages. Cardanol polyols are compatible with both conventional and other natural oil polyols, which means they can be mixed with them. Their high reactivity with isocyanates also means that catalyst levels can be decreased and water can be used as a blowing agent. Furthermore, Polycard polyols are suitable for the production of rigid polyurethane foams showing physical and foam properties superior or comparable to conventional polyols such as structural sandwich panel cores according to ASTM E 1730. In some cases, Polycard polyols show improved flame retardant properties.



Novocard™ novolacs are available as thermosetting phenolic resins, epoxy curing agents and high-molecularweight polyols. They are suitable for composite panels, coatings, highperformance epoxy resins with biocontent rates up to 95%, for the automotive, transportation, marine, construction and industry sectors. Rigid polyurethane foams can be produced too.


Novocard™ novolacs have unique attributes which make them a first choice for composite components, such as compatibility with conventional bisphenol- A and bisphenol-F epoxy resins, high moisture and chemical resistance, excellent fibre wetting, tailored viscosity, high flexibility and toughness.


Bio-based composites

Cimteclab has also developed several innovative bio-based composites using jute fibres as reinforcement and a Novocard™- based thermosetting resin as matrix. These innovative composites are applied to the automotive sector. Composite laminates were produced by hand lay-up of jute fabrics using a mixture of conventional diglycidyl ether of bisphenol-A (DGEBA) epoxy resin, a cardanol-based Novocard™ curing agent and a tertiary amine catalyst. The composites were produced combining the resin with about 34 wt% jute fibres, for a total amount of natural components above 50 wt%. Compared with DGEBA/DETA reference resins, the resins containing Novocard™ showed comparable modulus and strength, higher ductility and improved matrix-reinforcement interactions.


New developments

Cimteclab is developing some additional Exaphen products, which will be launched as soon as possible on the market: Epocard™ (novolac epoxy resins), Bexocard™ (benzoxazines for use as hardeners in epoxy formulations or as sizing agents in natural/synthetic fibres), Acrylcard™ (acrylic and methacrylic monomers and polymers for coatings and varnishes).