Global custom engineered thermoplastic compounder RTP Company (US based, with facilities also in France, Singapore and China) has introduced a comprehensive line of engineered bioplastic specialty compounds that utilize resins derived from rapidly renewable resources. Initial bioplastic compounds based on polyamide, polyester, and polylactic acid (PLA) are available in grades providing conductive, flame retardant, structural, and wear resistant value-added properties. RTP Companys bioplastic compounds contain 20 to 80% bio-content by weight and were developed to meet marketplace requests for alternative “green” materials.
“Bioplastic compounds, utilizing components derived from rapidly renewable resources instead of petroleum, are the latest element of an RTP Company initiative to develop greener products to meet diverse industry requirements,” said Andy Lamberson, Corporate Development Manager at RTP Company. “The use of bioplastic compounds lessens dependence on non-renewable resources, they also have a lower carbon footprint, their manufacture emits less carbon dioxide and requires less energy, making them more environmentally-favorable than traditional plastics.”
Initial development has resulted in over a dozen bioplastic compounds that meet a wide variety of application requirements. Research into additional formulations continues along with development of custom materials to meet specific end-use requirements. Prospective applications for bioplastic compounds include automotive interior and industrial components, semi-durable consumer goods, and housings and enclosures for electronics or business equipment.
Bioplastic polyamide- and polyester-based compounds are available with glass fiber reinforcement, antistatic protection, halogen-free flame retardant, and PTFE lubrication. Polylactic acid (PLA) grades are combined with PC, PMMA, or ABS in hybrid formulations that increase mechanical performance and offer antistatic, flame retardant, and structural properties. A 32% bio-content PLA/PC alloy has a notched IZOD impact strength of 15 ft-lbs/in (800 J/m), and a 40% bio-content PLA/PMMA alloy is optically clear. All current bioplastic grades are fully colorable to standard and custom matched colors.
“Bioplastic compounds join RTP Companys other materials, such as halogen-free flame retardant and recycled post-consumer content grades, which help processors and OEMs meet their goals and consumer demands for manufacturing more environmentally-conscious products,” said Lamberson.
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Source: RTP Company, press release, 2009-09.