From Plastics Wiki, free encyclopedia
Duroplast is a composite material, a thermosetting plastic, a close relative of formica and bakelite. It is a resin plastic reinforced with fibres (either cotton or wool) making it a fibre-reinforced plastic similar to glass-reinforced plastic, but because it can be made in a press similar to shaping steel it is more suitable for volume car production.
Duroplast was first used in the body of the IFA F8 and later also the AWZ P70 or Zwickau P70 and later used in the body of the Trabant and boot lid of the Mini. Apart from the use in cars duroplast was also used to make suitcases.
Duroplast can't be recycled, and burning it makes toxic fumes, so disposing of the bodies of old Trabants is a problem. However, Duroplast's components are edible and there are stories of pigs, sheep or other domestic farm animals consuming duroplast.
A Berlin biotechnology company claims that it has developed a solution to the duroplast problem: a bacterium that will eat a Trabant in 20 days and leave only compost.