vor 7 Jahren

05 | 2008

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Materials polymer

Materials polymer alloys, the addition of small quantities of alloys helps in achieving great improvements in properties, when nano-alloy technology is employed. In development of the nano-alloy for PLA-based injection moldable plastics, Toray focused on the molecular interaction of PLA and high-performance polymer and succeeded in achieving desired levels of properties by combining compound technology. The technologies accelerate the crystallization process and enable molding under normal injection molding conditions. Also, while deflection temperature under load, the standard measure of heat resistance, is 56°C for PLA alone, it is above 100°C with the nano-alloy high-performance polymer. Furthermore, the company also succeeded in the development of PLA resin with high impact resistance similar to that of ABS resins and high level of flame resistance without using halogenated fire retardants, which could generate hazardous substances, to produce and market a halogen-free flame retardant PLA plastic with heat resistance, moldability, durability and impact resistance. These products have already been introduced in the market. These successes have opened the door for Toray’s PLA plastics in high-performance applications such as electric and electronic fields and automobile parts applications, the fields which previously have been considered to be difficult to break into with the standalone PLA-based products. Examples of PLA product development (1) Front panel for DVD drives Pioneer Corporation has adopted the flame-retardant PLA resin for the front panel of its DVD drives introduced in July 2008. They are used in the high-end models available in Japan and neighboring countries. The material developed for this application has high flame retardant and heat resistance properties necessary for its use as electronic equipment body, which was achieved using Toray’s proprietary polymer alloy technology and halogen-free fire retardant technology. At the same time it also possesses high moldability and is suitable for mass production. (2) Substrate material for DVDs and CDs While highly transparent, the existing PLA-based products had heat resistance problems when used as substrate material for DVDs and CDs. Toray succeeded in improving the heat resistance by fine nano-metric dispersion of highly heat-resistant polymer. The material thus developed has superior optical characteristics suitable for disc materials and could be used not only for DVDs and CDs but also blu-ray discs. It is currently adopted for some CD-ROM applications. (3) Toy applications Conventional PLA-based polymer alloys, due to their mechanical properties (impact and flexural strengths), moldability (flowabilty, molding cycle, molding shrinkage ) and other properties, were not suitable for manufacturing process using the same molds as that of ordinary, generalpurpose plastics. However, Toray’s proprietary polymer alloy technology has enabled PLA-based polymer alloys to achieve heat resistance, impact resistance, fluidity and molding shrinkage factor equivalent to that of ABS resins, leading to increased adoption in toy applications. Conclusion PLA is one of the best environment-friendly materials among the current crop of industrially produced plastics. By expanding the use of such plant-based resins, Toray aims to make contributions to the society in efforts to stem the increase of greenhouse gases such as CO 2 in the atmosphere and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3 11

Bottle Applications Pure, Light, Mountain Water – Bottled in Ingeo Italian mineral water company Fonti di Vinadio Spa, which bottles and sells Sant’Anna di Vinadio mineral water is located in the North-Italian Piedmont area. Just recently they introduced their water in Ingeo PLA bottles. bioplastics MAGAZINE spoke to Alberto Bertone, owner and Chairman of the company (assisted by Ingeo European press office - Global Business Solutions) bM: Mr. Bertone, can you tell us something about your company and its history? AB: Well, I founded the company Fonti di Vinadio Spa in 1996. The company ethos is based on a deep conviction of the high potential for the water which flows from the mountains towering over Vinadio, in the heart of the Maritime Alps. The high quality of the Vinadio water has been known since the 16th century. Today, Sant’Anna water is the market leader in Italy with a turnover of about 150 million Euro and an output of 650 million bottles in 2007. bM: Before you started filling your water in PLA bottles, did you use PET or glass or even other packaging? AB: From the very beginning, Sant’Anna has been available in PET. We never used glass or cans or carton. bM: What did you do before? Where appropriate Fonti di Vinadio use wood for many of the logistic plant parts AB: When we entered the market about 10 years ago, we always focused on our Sant’Anna brand, optimizing our business also with co-packaging activities. Currently the business is 98% represented by Sant’Anna brand sales. From the beginning, environmental activities have always been part of our focus. bM: Why did you start this PLA-bottle activity? AB: I decided to experiment bottling the mineral water with an innovative material derived totally from a raw vegetal material about one year ago. I imported the Ingeo bioplastic bottle preforms directly from the USA. And so with the policy of our company focused very much on the environmental aspects of this project, we can calculate that if 50 million of our new bioplastic bottles each weighing 27 grams replace the same quantity of PET bottles, we will save 13,600 barrels of crude oil, or the same amount of energy it takes to supply electricity to 40,000 people for an entire month. 12 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3

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