Maybe I watch too many baking shows on TV, but when I come across the word "gluten," I don't expect it to be about plastics.
Among the many stories you'll find from the opening day of Fakuma 2021 in Friedrichshafen, Germany — where "corona guides" help masked visitors — correspondent David Vink writes about a project at KuZ, or Kunststoff-Zentrum in Leipzig, Germany, and Germany-based contract compounder Compraxx GmbH that is studying whether to use gluten to improve polylactic acid (PLA) molded products.
The "Gluplast" project involved wheat gluten as a naturally reoccurring additive in PLA to reduce inherent brittleness and improve low plastic deformability and impact strength. Currently, PLA is blended with traditional plastics to meet specific material requirements.
Using a natural element like gluten in flour to enhance a plastic made from bio-based feedstock seems like an apt combination to me.
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