We tackle the questions 'Does it really biodegrade?' and 'How long does it take?'. Since 2009 we test biodegradable plastics, compounds and products in the ocean and in freshwater. We assess the biodegradation behaviour of the item of interest under environmentally relevant conditions - from controlled lab tests to in-situ field tests in a wide range of habitats and climate zones. From raw polymers to blends, prototypes and final products - we screen in different environmental scencarios, develop new methods and apply existing norms and international standards.
Standard laboratory testing of the biodegradability of plastic polymers
We perform biodegradability tests for marine and freshwater scenarios according to ISO 22403, ISO 23977, ASTM 6691, ISO 18830, ISO 19679, ISO 224040/ASTM D7991.
Disintegration testing in field and tanks for environmental biodegradation rates
Based on our method development over the last decade, today there are several standards in place to measure disintegration under in-situ conditions directly at the beach, in the open water or at the seafloor (ISO 22766, ISO 15314), which we successfully apply at different locations worldwide to cover the range of climate zones.
Tank tests with water and sediment (ISO 23977) allow us to follow disintegration under controlled and still environmentally relevant conditions.
Testing material innovations
In addition to standard testing, we apply different temperature regimes (cold-moderate, warm-moderate, tropical) and simulate a range of water and sediment conditions in laboratory and tank tests. With an experimental design tailored to our partners' needs, we gather detailed knowledge about the performance of their novel materials in each environmental scenario. Our iterative approach, based on sound experience, helps to make the right decisions and keep costs in check already during material development.
Data analysis and mathematical modeling
We do not leave you alone with raw data. Through mathematical modeling we describe the biodegradation kinetics of the material under the experimental conditions applied. In addition, we predict the half-life and the lifetime of an item in the respective environment.
2-D, 3-D and fiber applications
Safely getting back the material's remains is key when assessing disintegration in open tests (tank, field). HYDRA has developed techniques to expose thin film, coated and solid objects, and fibers (monofilament, woven, non-woven) even for several years under real-world conditions, and be safely retrieved for accurate analysis. We are constantly refining our methods and develop new ones, if needed.
Our clients and partners are producers, manufacturers, brand owners as well as unversities, research institutes and public administrations from various sectors.