New bioplastic increases PLA toughness, opens new applications

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In the United Kingdom, Florean has developed a bioplastic that, when added to polylactic acid, reduces the bioplastic’s brittleness and increases its toughness by a factor of four.

The innovation opens up new applications for PLA. Florean says it will initially target rigid packaging, and eventually work to commercialize the bioplastic in durable applications.

The compound was developed in partnership with the University of Sheffield. UK tooling and engineering company R&D/Leverage Europe assisted with material testing. “We found that the Floreon resin provided a large process window with great results in terms of optimized material distribution and sharp corner ratio. The capability transferred through with consistent good products produced from 3mm to 8mm thick preforms,” says R&D/Leverage’s technical manager, Steve Gough. Floreon has produced about 227,000 tons of the bioplastic to date.