Materials & Assembly

PLA Blends Perform Like Engineering Thermoplastics

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Dave Palmer
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Thermoplastic starch vs. mineral filler
Dave Palmer   8/3/2012 4:03:22 PM
@Ann: Many of the comments from your recent article about soy-based polyurethane foam would apply to this material.  In fact, corn-based PLA is significantly more objectionable in terms of its impacts on the environment and the global food crisis.

Furthermore, if the goal is to increase the strength, stiffness, and heat deflection temperature of injection molded plastics, it's already possible to do so using traditional mineral fillers such as talc and calcium carbonate.

The mechanical properties of these new PLA blends look roughly equivalent to what could be expected from a talc-filled PC/ABS.  The main selling point appears to be the ability to put a USDA "bio-based" label on them.

Of course, the role of the USDA is to expand markets for U.S. agricultural products, which the use of bio-based plastics certainly does.  

Greg M. Jung
User Rank
Flammability Ratings
Greg M. Jung   8/21/2012 8:56:38 PM
Good to see these types of polymers being developed.  Any idea of the thicknesses needed for a V0 or 5V UL flammability rating? (which many electronic housings need).

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Re: Flammability Ratings
Ann R. Thryft   8/22/2012 12:30:43 PM
Greg, I saw a preliminary data sheet, but I don't believe it contained that info, and it's not up on the company's website yet. If you contact them to find out more, please let us know the result.

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