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

Techmer PM planning new compounding plant

March 26, 2015 3:30 pm ET

As crowds gathered around their 3-D-printed Shelby Cobra sports car, Techmer PM officials revealed that the firm will open a new materials plant in...    More

Indian compounder Welset expands in PVC, masterbatches

March 26, 2015 6:00 am ET

Indian compounder Welset Plast Extrusions Ltd. (Booth S20059) is spending 60 crore rupees ($975,000) to expand capacity in PVC materials for the...    More

Image

RheTech adding extrusion line

March 26, 2015 9:16 am ET

John Levinson, President of RheTech Inc., which was recently acquired by Swedish rubber compounder Hexpol AB, was positive about the...    More

Image

Sabic adding more Ultem capacity

March 26, 2015 1:24 pm ET

Sabic Innovative Plastics will add more than 700 million pounds of material production capacity in the next five years — including a 30 percent ...    More

Image

DuPont exec: Still lots of lightweighting needed in the auto industry

March 23, 2015 6:00 am ET

In that role, Jeffrey Sternberg is responsible for bringing the breadth of DuPont advanced materials — as well as renewably sourced materials an...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

Learn more

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

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events