Teijin expands hygrothermal resistance of PLA bioplastic; high durability comparable to PET

Japan's Teijin Limited has upgraded its BIOFRONT bioplastic with substantially improved resistance to hydrolytic degradation in hot and humid conditions, creating new opportunities for the plant-based material's use in high-heat and high-humidity applications, such as automotive and electronics. The company claims the new BIOFRONT is at least 10 times more hydrolytic resistant than conventional commercial bioplastic, meaning that Teijin's plant-derived bioplastic now offers virtually the same level of durability as polyethylene terephthalate (PET). BIOFRONT, which was first developed in 2006 and launched in the following year, is the world's first mass-produced stereocomplex PLA, made with plant-based Poly-L-lacticacid polymer (conventional polylacticacid polymer) and their enantiomer poly-D-lacticacid polymer. This highly stable stereocomplex structure, based on Teijin's polymer technology, has made possible the melting point that is over 40 degrees C higher than that of poly-L-lacticacid polymer, putting BIOFRONT's heat resistance on a par with oil-based polybutylene terephthalate (PBT). By proving levels of hydrolytic and hygrothermal resistance similar to engineering plastics such as PBT and PET, the new BIOFRONT is now suitable for a much wider range of applications. This new technology will be one of the core technologies used in the production of BIOFRONT at the medium-volume pilot production plant scheduled to be launched in early August at Teijin's Matsuyama plant in Ehime Prefecture.
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