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Materials PSM –The

Materials PSM –The Renewing of a Brand Article contributed by Daniel Tein, VP of North American Sales, PSM North America, Warrenville, Illinois As the world of bioplastics becomes more and more a mainstream industry, it seems it is also destined to become more and more confusing. Everything from inadvertent greenwashing to intentional misrepresentation is now commonplace in the eco-movement of bio-materials. Unfortunately, PSM (plastarch material) from PSM (HK) Co. Ltd in Hong Kong is not exempt from such treatment. PSM’s claim to fame is its large percentage of starch content. This allows it to maximize the heat stability of the finished product. There are few, if any, bioplastics available today that can really match up to PSM’s heat tolerance. This makes PSM, which uses only non-GMO (non-genetically modified) starch sources, a very appealing material for a wide swath of applications. As a material, PSM is ASTM D6400-04 compliant up to a full 2.5mm of thickness, has a melting point of 156°C, and softening point around 127°C. Despite its success, or perhaps due to it, there has been quite a few instances of counterfeit PSM, both in resin form, and in finished products. PSM is currently manufactured in China with plans to expand production globally. Coincidentally, much of the counterfeit products in question originate from China and Southeast Asia. Other companies have been producing and selling ‘PSM‘ resin, only to have the finished product become moldy within weeks. Counterfeit products in certain niche markets have become out-of-hand. For example, nearly 90% of the starch cutlery sold in the USA is made from plastic blended PSM. PSM North America have started stating, ‘if you didn’t buy it from us or a source authorized by us, assume it’s not PSM’. Despite these unfortunate distractions, PSM is looking forward to improving the material for use in more applications. Previously, PSM was limited heavily to thermoforming and injection molding applications. Recent engineering breakthroughs now allow PSM to be used in extrusion blow molding, injection blow molding, as well as blown film applications. Foaming applications currently are still limited to packaging void fill. Commercialized PSM applications vary widely from foodservice and green construction materials to packaging and consumer goods. PSM does not intend to stop there. It is planned to introduce PSM for use in foam extrusion and coating applications. When asked how a manufacturer using Polypropylene could make an immediate ecological impact with their products, the answer is easy: “PSM is incredibly compatible with PP such that a dry mix is all that is needed; there is no need to re-pelletize or compound. Even if a relatively small percentage of PSM is blended with PP, this can be a first step towards eco-friendliness without impacting product performance or base cost. By mixing with plastics, plastics processors can immediately have a partly biobased component to their offerings, however – not biodegradable – of course. This allows the producer to tell a sustainable/renewable story. For a compostable compliant product, PSM should be used as a 100% standalone material.” 34 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/09] Vol. 4

Magnetic for Plastics C M Y • International Trade in Raw Materials, Machinery & Products Free of Charge • Daily News from the Industrial Sector and the Plastics Markets • Current Market Prices for Plastics. CM MY CY CMY K • Buyer’s Guide for Plastics & Additives, Machinery & Equipment, Subcontractors and Services. • Job Market for Specialists and Executive Staff in the Plastics Industry Up-to-date • Fast • Professional BIB 2010 The Business Directory for Innovative Biomaterials (BIB) enters the second round! In the second, extended edition of the Business Directory for Innovative Biomaterials (BIB 2010) companies in the field of biomaterials are invited to place their innovative products and services. Through the business directory, which is sent with a circulation figure of at least 5,000 copies and as a PDF free of charge to biomaterial decision makers in industries and science, potential customers and matching suppliers can easily get in touch. Already the successfully launched BIB'09 provided for the first time an overview over the entire market for the new biomaterials. The 116 pages long book presents 50 companies and actors from six countries. 90% of its print edition have been distributed by now. Our advertisers are greatly satisfied with the market response. Free download on Information and contact In our understanding, biomaterials comprise materials, which contain at least 20% renewable raw materials. Among these count bio-degradable and durable bioplastics, innovative derived timber products like Wood-Plastic-Composites (WPC) or thermally modified timber as well as natural fibre reinforced plastics. In the centre of attention are manufacturers and suppliers of biomaterials and products made of biomaterials as well as raw material suppliers, mechanical engineering companies, associations and research institutes operating in the wide field of biomaterials. For further information and reservations, please go to Your contact person is: nova-Institut GmbH Mr. Dominik Vogt Phone: +49 (0) 22 33 – 48 14 49 Fax: +49 (0) 22 33 – 48 14 50 Email: Send us images of your products, your product and company profiles as well as the fax schedules A and B (see until August 15 th 2009 – the professional layout and type setting is done for you by our agency SSP! Use the Business Directory BIB 2010 for your marketing! nova-Institut GmbH | Chemiepark Knapsack | Industriestrasse | 50354 Huerth | Germany | |

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