Arkema Inc.'s Biostrength impact modifiers and process aids for polylactic acid have been awarded by the Society of Plastics Engineers.
Biostrength additives are derived from renewable resources such as corn starch, tapioca roots and sugarcane, the King of Prussia, Pa., firm explains. They help overcome inherent brittleness and low melt strength of PLA, according to Arkema.
The company claims Biostrength impact modifiers are designed to increase PLA's impact toughness by several orders of magnitude, opening more markets for PLA and blends in packaging and durable applications. Melt strength enhancers in the series can boost melt strength by as much as 100 percent, a boon in PLA thermoforming and blow molding.
Manny Katz, global group president of Arkema's functional additives business, predicts Biostrength products will allow PLA to tap new markets.
“Growth of these new markets will give consumers a sustainable choice in polymers, thus significantly reducing the carbon footprint,” Katz noted. “If projected PLA volumes are realized in 2020, the release into the environment of several billion (kilograms of carbon dioxide) equivalent will be avoided.”
Arkema received the Chairman's Award from SPE's Plastics Environmental Division at the Global Plastics Environmental Conference recently held in Orlando, Fla.