New options for use of plastics with plant-based content
continue to grow for design engineers.
The most recent is a compound for injection molding
applications that blends starch with high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) from the
Bioplastics Div. of Teknor Apex Co.
TerraloyTM BP-18003A is a blend of thermoplastic starch (TPS)
with HIPS, with up to 30 percent starch content. As an alternative, Teknor Apex
also offers a new masterbatch, TerraloyTM MB-18003A, with TPS content ranging up
to 50 percent. Both products are for use in typical HIPS applications such as
cutlery, disposable razors and other consumer products.
"The new Terraloy products are the first polystyrene/starch
blends that make it possible to effectively substitute for 100 percent HIPS in
many applications," says Edwin Tam, manager of new strategic initiatives for
the Teknor unit. "While starch acts like a filler in conventional blends with
HIPS and is incorporated through techniques that cause a dramatic fall-off in
physical properties, the proprietary technology employed by Teknor Apex for
Terraloy products disperses TPS in the host polymer in a unique morphological
form that minimizes property losses."
The new blend can be used with existing tooling and requires
no modifications. The recommended letdown ratio for the Terraloy MB-18003A
masterbatch is 1:1.
The announcement on Friday follows a flurry of activity in bioplastics at the
2009 National Plastics Exposition held in Chicago.
DuPont announced a fully commercial
bioplastic product lineup.
NatureWorks showed the latest developments for its Ingeo line
PolyOne announced a breakthrough series of solutions for
natural fibers that expand processing and material options for the composites
Metabolix announced the
next-generation injection molding grade for its Mirel bioplastic.