DuPont Packaging has developed an additive that strengthens polylactic acid-based plastics, which are finding growing uses in environmentally friendly applications.
The Wilmington-based company said bio-based polymers can lack impact strength, flexibility and viscosity - shortfalls that hinder performance of the polymers. Its Biomax Strong additive, an ethylene copolymer, improves those strength properties, DuPont claims.
DuPont provides Biomax Strong as pellets that processors can combine with PLA to improve strength, flexibility and melt stability. It is especially useful for rigid applications such as cast sheet for thermoforming and in injection molding. At typical usage levels of 5-10 percent, it outperforms competing products and has minimal impact on transparency, according to the company.
``The transparency aspects give us a strong competitive position vs. other tougheners currently being tried,'' said DuPont global market manager Shanna Moore.
Biomax Strong does not interfere with PLA's compostability. Biomax Strong 100, the first available version, was developed for packaging where food compliance is not needed.
The 120 grade for food-contact compliance use is due in three to six months.
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