Industry News

New Whitepaper Describes Benefits of Continuous Mixing Tech. for Filled PLA Processing

Published on 2019-04-08. Author : SpecialChem

TAGS:   Green and Bioplastics     Thermoplastic Composites    

New Whitepaper Describes Benefits of Continuous Mixing Tech. FARREL POMINI and NatureWorks have conducted joint research to compare the processing of Ingeo™ polylactide (PLA) compounds on the Twin Screw Extruder and the Farrel Continuous Mixer (FCM™). The objective of the study was to evaluate the effects on molecular weight loss in PLA while adding a talc mineral filler.

Ingeo polylactide (PLA) or polylactic acid is a biodegradable and bioactive polyester derived from sustainable, renewable resources, such as corn starch, cassava, or sugarcane. It is often used in food packaging and fiber/nonwovens industries and is one of the most highly utilized bioplastics in the world.

Farrel Continuous Mixer Technology for Better MW Retention

The study found that the FCM™ resulted in significantly better molecular weight retention. Trials showed a 95% molecular weight retention when using 50% filler and 88% retention when using 60% filler.

In addition, the trials demonstrated that FCM™ technology provides other distinct advantages over Twin Screw Extruders regarding:

  • Lower melt temperature
  • Lower specific energy

The minimal residence time and efficient mechanical shear respectively, that are the cornerstones of the FCM™ operating principles, are responsible for these outcomes.

Improved Physical Properties

PLA is often compounded with mineral fillers and/or additives to improve physical properties. As compared to Twin Screw Extruders, the benefits of the FCM™ would allow for:

  • Lower processing costs
  • Higher mineral fill levels
  • Improved physical properties

The results are being presented at various conferences worldwide beginning with ANTEC® 2019, March 18 – 21 in Detroit, Michigan USA.

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