Purac develops high heat-resistant polylactic acid resin

By Jessica Holbrook

Published: February 26, 2013 4:01 pm ET
Updated: February 26, 2013 4:04 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials Materials Suppliers
Companies & Associations

ATLANTA — Bioplastics firm Purac has developed a high heat-resistant blend of polylactic acid that it says will open up new markets for bioplastic products.

Purac developed its high-heat PLA by utilizing sterochemically pure PLA homopolymers. By combining the different polymers that make up PLA in different ways, Purac can create resin with a range of improved properties, like the ability withstand temperatures up to 356° F.

The Purac technology allows for the development of PLA that can be used as a replacement for polystyrene, polypropylene and ABS, said Francois de Bie, marketing director for bioplastics at Purac, in a presentation at the 2013 Packaging Conference.

Purac says its PLA is made from renewable raw materials, has a reduced carbon footprint, and is biodegradable.

The high-heat PLA is currently being used in several commercial applications, including injection molded food service ware – plates, bowls, cups and utensils.

The containers are food contact approved, can be used in the microwave and dishwasher, and are heat resistant up to 100° C, so they can hold hot coffee or tea, de Bie said.

Purac has also had interest from consumer goods companies who want to use the material in luxury goods and appliances, among other applications, he said. PLA in those applications could have heat resistance up to 120° C for a short period and would be 100 percent bio-based.

High-heat PLA can also be used in place of polystyrene in disposable coffee cups. Using PLA does not require new equipment or processes and the line runs at the same speed when converting PLA as it does when converting polystyrene, de Bie said.

PLA is still more expensive than polystyrene, but being able to run at the same speed lessens the impact, he added.

The material can also be used to make injected molded preforms that are then blow molded into reusable water bottles or baby bottles. The bottles are not transparent, but the heat resistance means they can withstand boiling water and can be steam sterilized, an important consideration for baby bottles, he said.

Purac has also developed PLA foam that looks and feels identical to expanded polystyrene, he said.

The foam has high impact resistance and similar properties to PS and can be used in packaging materials, but cannot currently be used to make foam coffee cups, he said.

Purac is currently developing a transparent high-heat biaxially oriented PLA film. The film could be used to replace biaxially oriented polypropylene films, and has similar tensile and barrier properties to standard PLA films but with a high melting point of 220-250° C, de Bie said.

Purac, based in Gorinchem, the Netherlands, is a subsidiary of bakery products company CSM NV.

The Packaging Conference was held Feb. 4-6 in Atlanta.


Comments

Purac develops high heat-resistant polylactic acid resin

By Jessica Holbrook

Published: February 26, 2013 4:01 pm ET
Updated: February 26, 2013 4:04 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Ford moving forward in carbon fiber for 'high volume' use

April 17, 2015 10:21 am ET

Ford Motor Co. has signed a deal with a carbon-fiber manufacturer to jointly explore “high-volume” automotive uses for the lightweight...    More

Image

Force majeure declared at six European sites since mid-March

April 17, 2015 1:10 pm ET

At least six European resin makers have declared force majeure on polyethylene, polypropylene and related products since mid-March, leading to higher ...    More

Image

Executives step down from Star Thermoplastics

April 17, 2015 12:56 pm ET

Executives Randall Fortin and Larry Johnson no longer are with materials firm Star Thermoplastics Alloys & Rubbers Inc.    More

Image

Zoltek expanding CF capacity in Europe

April 17, 2015 10:12 am ET

Leading carbon fiber group Zoltek Corp. has signed a strategic agreement with the Hungarian government to expand its operation in northern Hungary,...    More

Image

Hanwha Azdel adds capacity in Lynchburg

April 16, 2015 2:01 pm ET

Composite maker Hanwha Azdel Inc. will add space and a new production line at its Lynchburg, Va., production facility, the company announced April 16.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 15, 2015 - September 17, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events