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Range of biodegradable, biobased, natural fibre reinforced compounds broaden bioplastics applications

Range of biodegradable, biobased, natural fibre reinforced compounds broaden bioplastics applications

12-Aug-11
Until recently many bioplastics found application in highly undemanding applications because of their poor mechanical properties. However, recently introduced materials and additives are leading to development of a new generation of bioplastics that can find application in much more demanding end-use environments. Also, uptil now, companies developing products from biopolymers could use all-natural masterbatches with its limited, expensive and not very process- or light-stable range of colors and additives. Or, they could use conventional pigments and functional ingredients and compromise on the environmental friendliness of their product. While the matrix resin might have been compostable or biodegradable, the colorants and additives were not. New alternatives are now available.
Bioplastics producer FKuR Kunststoff GmbH has introduced a wide range of biodegradable, biobased and natural fibre reinforced compounds that offer a wide range of possibilities. Further developments have been made in the cellulose acetate based Biograde® products. The highlight of this development is Biograde® V 2091 which is a completely transparent injection mouldable grade that has been developed for thin wall parts with long flow paths. Along with its high transparency, it stands out due to its smooth and shiny surface. Moreover, especially for thin walled parts, it out performs standard polystyrene (PS) for flexibility and heat distortion temperature. These properties allow for the realisation of diverse applications within the electronic and household appliances sector.
Clariant Masterbatches has developed color and performance innovations for plastics packaging. RENOL®-compostable colors and CESA®-compostable additive masterbatches incorporate conventional (non-natural) additives and pigments in a biopolymer carrier resin. Testing of the ingredients, completed in the independent laboratories of OWS nv (Gent, Belgium) determined that the materials can comply with EN 13432:2000 � the widely recognized standard for heavy-metal content and plant-toxicity. The RENOL-compostable product line includes masterbatches based on over 80 different pigments, so color choices are almost unlimited. CESA-compostable additive masterbatches include UV-stabilizer and antioxidant packages, with more additives currently pending review. It has been granted OK Compost certification by AIB Vin�otte. Any product featuring the OK Compost logo can be assumed to comply with the requirements of the EU Packaging Directive (94/62/EEC), which seeks to limit packaging waste. The certificate indicates conformity with approved production procedures and guarantees that only colorants and additives that pass strict testing for ecotoxicity are added to the biopolymer carrier resin. These additives give the performance and cost benefits and does not change the compostability of products made of the bio-based resins.
Dow Plastics Additives produces Paraloid BPM-520 at its facility in Jurong, Singapore. The additive is said to help improve the impact resistance of opaque, injection molded polylactic acid (PLA) products with minimal effect on heat distortion temperature and stiffness. PLA is derived from cornstarch; its brittle nature means that for many applications, modifiers are required to improve its impact resistance. It is designed for use with injection molded PLA applications to improve their impact strength at room and sub-zero temperatures, improves impact strength of PLA/PC alloys, has minimal effect on stiffness and heat distortion temperature and is food contact compliant.
PolyOne incorporates the impact modifier into its OnCap BIO Impact L masterbatches. OnCap BIO L flows well for mold filling, maintains part stiffness and can be easily colored. The master batch and additive can be used in compliance with the Commission Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 on plastics materials and articles intended to come into contact with food and with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements. This is the first supplier to be granted OK Compost certification by AIB Vin�otte for its full range of colorants and additives. Because the PolyOne solutions meet this standard, they are authorized to use the OK Compost label, which identifies the item as biodegradable in an industrial composting plant. PolyOne has unveiled reSound biopolymer compounds for durable applications. These innovative materials, which incorporate a minimum of 30% bio-derived content by weight, enable manufacturers in the durable consumer products sector to reduce environmental impact of their products while delivering exceptional performance equal to or better than conventional engineering resins. reSound compounds solve this dilemma by providing both a high percentage of renewable content and excellent mechanical properties. With reSound biopolymer compounds, tomorrow�s cars, mobile phones and other durable applications can stand out from the competition with a combination of sustainability and performance. reSound compounds combine high performance engineering thermoplastic resins with bio-derived polymers such as polylactic acid (PLA) for a unique balance of temperature, impact and cost performance, making them ideal candidates for durable applications across a variety of industries. reSound compounds are an excellent choice for applications including consumer durable goods, interior automotive components, medical devices and equipment, electronics housings and equipment. Primary benefits include:
 Impact resistance and toughness, extending product life and maintaining functional and aesthetic integrity
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Temperature resistance, offering improved performance for bio-derived polymers in high-heat and low-temperature applications
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Bio-derived, reducing the carbon footprint at the beginning of the product life cycle
Technology developed by Teknor Apex Company has eliminated a property tradeoff that until now has limited use of polylactic acid (PLA) in injection molded semi-durable and durable applications requiring impact strength and heat stability, as well as in high-end disposable food service items such as cutlery, coffee lids, and containers for microwavable products. Compounding innovations by Teknor Apex have overcome an inverse relationship between heat distortion temperature (HDT) and Izod impact strength in PLA, creating a new series of compounds, Terraloy BP-34001, that provide up to two times the HDT and up to six times the impact strength of standard PLA resins. FDA-Compliant Terraloy BP-34001 substantially out-performs standard PLA and Yields 28-30% shorter molding cycles than previous �enhanced-performance� PLA resins. They incorporate 10-30% more renewable resource-based content. In property tests, a typical grade in the new series, Terraloy BP-34001D, exhibits a heat distortion temperature of 112°C and Izod impact strength of 135 J/m. By comparison, approximate values for standard PLA are 65°C and 33 J/m. The new compound complies with FDA 21 CFR requirements and has a renewable content of 78%.
 
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