BioVinyl, a new line of flexible vinyl compounds made from DOW ECOLIBRIUM bio-based plasticizers, has been developed by Teknor Apex. The compounds have been fabricated for manufacturers, who look for minimizing the carbon footprint of their products. The commercial applications of the compounds include consumer products such as toys and footwear; medical tubing, collection bags and masks; and automotive window seals, instrument panel skins and interior and exterior trim. The company continues to develop solutions for other applications, such as wire and cable jacketing and blood bags. Teknor Apex’s BioVinyl compounds have already been chosen for certain commercial applications, including a new line of Flooring Adventures’ Tuff-Seal interlocking floor tiles; a series of shoe welting produced by Barbour Plastics; and a range of fashionable ‘flip-flop’ sandals manufactured by Okabashi Brands. These compounds use bio-based plasticizers that are produced by Dow Electrical and Telecommunications (Dow E&T), a division of Dow Chemical. The global warming potential of Teknor Apex’s BioVinyl compounds is lower than that of polyolefin resins and PLA bioplastic. As the DOW ECOLIBRIUM plasticizers are sourced from naturally available vegetable substances, there is no impact of supply or demand forces that normally occur in other bio-derived plastics feedstocks like corn starch. In addition, DOW ECOLIBRIUM exhibit greater plasticizing efficiency than commonly available phthalates.
Recently, Teknor Apex and Dow has entered into a joint collaboration agreement, under which Teknor Apex has received the exclusive right to sell the flexible vinyl compounds made from DOW ECOLIBRIUM plasticizers in the North American market. Life cycle analysis tests that have been performed by Dow and verified by a third party reveal that each ton of bio-based vinyl compound helps the industry to decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 41% or 0.7 ton.