Low-impact materials

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Knowledge in the service of the environment / the environmentally responsible materials of the future

Fabricated base product formulation: specific-purpose materials

The formulation stage, which is also called ‘compounding,’ is a process allowing to mix molten plastic materials and filler additives.
The term bioplastic refers to plastic materials whose origin is different from their end of life. In reality, it covers three families of polymers:
– Polymers that are bio-sourced and biodegradable (PLA, PHA…)
– Polymers that are bio-sourced and non-biodegradable (PA 11, bioPE, bioPET…)
– Polymers that are neither bio-sourced nor biodegradable (PBS, PBAT…)


In cooperation with the Université de Bretagne Sud (UBS), IRMA possesses different application machines that can be used to transform your formulations in the molten state.


Our characterisation techniques allow us to evaluate the physical, chemical and thermal properties of different materials and parts. Samples can be provided directly by the customer or created by us using the procedures described in the ‘Application’ section.



In real life, materials are subject to humidity and sunlight and their properties deteriorate.

‘Ageing’ is the term used to describe any phenomenon consisting of slow and irreversible changes in the structure and/or composition of a material as a result of its instability, interaction with the environment, mechanical forces or coupling.

Material ageing under real use conditions is characterised by slow degradation kinetics. The use of accelerated testing is therefore necessary in order to quantify ageing in the laboratory and to thus evaluate the durability of a material or structure.

End of life

The environmentally responsible materials of the future: two complementary approaches

Studying biodegradation is the last stage of plastics ageing and provides a more comprehensive picture. Biodegradation criteria are associated with specific standards, and are directly related to a timeframe that will depend on the incubation environment and the temperature.

In parallel, the impact of degradation products on the land or marine ecosystem can also be studied through eco-toxicity tests. These are experimental tests that determine the effect of products on a select group of living organisms under well-defined conditions.


Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a comprehensive, transparent and multi-criteria technique that is particularly relevant for eco-design processes. This technique uses an internationally standardised method to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of a plastic, or more generally a product, at each stage of its life cycle, from the cradle to its end of life.

Biomaterials development enables a new approach—called ‘cradle to cradle’—in which products at their end of life are considered a new source of energy or material