FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, GERMANY — Corbion Purac NV's collaboration with Taiwan-headquartered compounder Supla Co. Ltd. and Taiwan electronics producer Kuender & Co. is paying dividends, with the debut of what it claims is the world's first bioplastic touch screen computer housing at Fakuma in Friedrichshafen.
Made for Kuender in high gloss white, it shows improved impact resistance, high heat resistance and good scratch resistance, and will be available starting Jan. 1. The material has high dimensional stability allowing for tight tolerances during processing.
Corbion Purac's marketing director François de Bie said Supla was in the process of setting up a 10,000 tonne PLA polymerization factory in China to supply the material for this high-end Kuender application amongst others.
“Supla has compounding facilities and now is in the process of backward integration into polymerization. It will use our high quality lactides to make PLA resin,” he said.
Other applications showcasing the broad range of characteristics and properties that can be achieved with PLA bioplastics include an air filter box and interior trim parts for the automotive industry from Röchling Automotive.
The injection molded parts boast heat resistance up to 140° C, impact resistance, UV resistance, high gloss, improved colorability and dimensional stability, enabling them to withstand the demanding conditions in today's engine compartment.
Gorinchem, Netherlands-based Corbian Purac believes this makes PLA a good alternative to most polyesters, as well as ABS, polyolefins such as polypropylene, and nylons.
A range of packaging and serviceware applications, including single-use thermoformed hot drink cups made by Huhtamäki Oyj and lids produced by WinGram International Co. Ltd. and full stereo-complex transparent film from Innovia Films Ltd. are also displayed.
In addition to final applications, Corbion Purac is presenting its PLA resin and compound partnerships, which include Zhejiang Hisun Chemical Co. Ltd. and Supla, for neat PLA resin, and Biotec GmbH and FKuR Kunststoff GmbH for high-heat food serviceware compounds.