Tough PLA Alloys Perform like Engineering Thermoplastics while Providing up to 40% Biocontent
New polylactic acid (PLA) alloys enable manufacturers of electronic housings and other components to incorporate substantial amounts of bio-based content in their products without sacrificing the essential mechanical and thermal properties provided by engineering thermoplastics (ETPs), it was announced today by the Bioplastics Division of Teknor Apex Company.
Based on alloys of PLA and ETPs, Terraloy® BP 70010 and 70011 compounds provide similar or greater strength, stiffness, and heat distortion temperature in comparison with standard polycarbonate (PC), ABS, and PC/ABS blends while incorporating 40 and 36% levels of bio-based content, respectively (see accompanying table). Teknor Apex can formulate other Terraloy 70000 Series alloys on a custom basis, providing similar benefits while meeting specific customer requirements.
Potential applications for the new compounds include injection molded housings, handles, covers, and other components of electronic devices, medical equipment, and consumer products. When used in applications like medical equipment housings and bar code scanners, Terraloy 70000 Series alloys help manufacturers meet sustainability goals such as the minimum 25% biocontent specification in the BioPreferred Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“Teknor Apex has drawn on its formulating and compounding expertise to develop ETP compounds that have high bio-based content yet deliver performance comparable to standard petroleum-based engineering resins, while lowering overall greenhouse gas emissions,” said Edwin Tam, manager of new strategic initiatives. “Indeed, both of the Terraloy alloys surpass ABS in mechanical and thermal properties and provide substantially higher levels of stiffness than PC or PC/ABS blends.”