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Metabolix to Discuss Benefits of Amorphous PHA for PLA at ITR

Published on 2016-03-03. Author : SpecialChem

Innovation Takes Root (ITR) takes place March 30 – April 1 in Orlando where Metabolix will be exhibiting on the benefits of a-PHA as a performance modifier for PLA.

Fig. 1: Metabolix

This bi-annual show is the must-attend event for companies working with PLA, and Metabolix to be among the conference sponsors. With “innovation” as part of its name, ITR focuses on helping companies gain first-hand knowledge and insight into material features and functionality, discover new solutions, and network with a full spectrum of plastics industry experts.

At ITR, Metabolix team will engage with conference goers to learn about their applications and discuss the benefits of its innovative Mirel® specialty PHAs as performance modifiers for PLA. Its specialty PHAs are 100% biobased and preserve the compostability profile of PLA.

In particular, Metabolix be showcasing the use of its amorphous PHAs (a-PHA) as performance modifiers for PLA in applications such as:
  • Sheet Extrusion and Thermoformed Packaging: The addition of a-PHA at low loading levels, <5%, can eliminate the brittle fracture associated with the edge trimming, conveying and cutting of extruded sheets and thermoformed parts. The addition of a-PHA increases the impact strength of the finished part and at loading levels up to 10% will increase toughness and ductility to such an extent that it prevents brittle failure and splintering under impact load. The production of clear parts is also still possible when PLA is modified with a-PHA.
  • Metabolix’s a-PHA Modified PLA Film Creates Film Suitable for Broad Range of Packaging Applications
    Fig. 2: Metabolix’s a-PHA Modified PLA Film Creates Film
    Suitable for Broad Range of Packaging Applications
  • Clear Packaging Film: Metabolix’s a-PHA modified PLA film is both tough and ductile, creating a clear film that is suitable for a broad range of packaging applications. With just 5% shrinkage, the film can be heated and brought into intimate contact with the packaged container to increase packaging strength and provide a sharper cleaner image for printed graphics and messaging.
  • Fibers and Non-woven: Metabolix’s a-PHA modifiers bring significant softness to PLA fibers at low loading levels which produce a soft, silky feel in woven applications. Its a-PHA modifiers can also increase the strength of high flow non-woven PLA fibers. This is ideal for developing compostable single-use hygiene and personal care products such as wipes, and in medical products such as gauzes and surgical gowns and drapes.
  • 3D Printing Filament: Improvements to the toughness/modulus balance can be achieved through blends with our Mirel a-PHA biopolymer and PLA for 3D printing filament. Use of Metabolix’s a-PHA enables extrusion of 3D printing filament with good quality and consistent thickness. The modified filament prints at the same speed and temperature profile as standard PLA with an improvement in layer to layer adhesion. The resulting parts will be softer and tougher than parts made with pure PLA allowing for prototyping of parts with properties more similar to actual production materials.
  • Injection Molded Applications: The addition of a-PHA to PLA enables the strength and toughness of injection molded products to be increased substantially to produce high biocontent parts. Physical properties can be further optimized by the addition of mineral fillers, where necessary. The addition of a-PHA can be applied to various molding geometries with different rheology and molding requirements.

About Metabolix

Metabolix Inc., founded in 1992, is an advanced biomaterials company focused on delivering sustainable solutions to the plastics industry. It is specifically targeting its research, development and commercial resources on the use of our Mirel® PHA biopolymers as performance additives in target applications where they can improve performance and or reduce cost in other material systems such as PVC and PLA.

Source: Metabolix

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