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issue 04/2021

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Highlights: Toys Thermoforming Basics: Bio-Polypropylene

Additives Green

Additives Green additivation Expanding material suitability, evolving process interests, and extending sustainability benefits The efficiency of bioplastics and the role of additives is well documented in current literature, nevertheless, it is still an area of high interest for material processors. This may be due to the extensive selection process involved in finding the right additives concerning various performance parameters. It can be challenging, for example, to maximize the benefits and desired properties of a base polymer, while exploring the possibility of recycling – the right additive is needed. Thus, the purpose of this article is to present various aspects pertaining to additives and representative strategies to help the users pick the most suitable additives for their end process. Additive identification Literature indicates the potential approaches of additive development to consist of: traditional (synthetic) additives with minimum health and environmental concerns, renewable additives (may or may not be biodegradable), and green additives (principally biobased and biodegradable). The FINE Green additives are the oleochemicals prepared from raw materials derived from refined vegetable oils. These are potentially the most suitable additives for a variety of polymers as they can lower the carbon footprint and impart excellent end-properties. Fine Green additives can assist the polymer processors to effectively resolve the processing challenges by rendering the required functionality. Additive surface migration is influenced by various molecular interactions between an additive phase, base polymer phase, and other components. The migration is typically controlled by a concentration gradient, competing thermodynamic effects (polarity), and kinetic factors (prominent during and after processing) such as melt flow, crystallinity/amorphous domains (amorphous domain facilitates migration, whereas crystalline domain may retard the rate of migration), and the presence of fillers (interaction with the additive may influence migration rate – adsorption/absorption). The process, therefore, is an evident interplay of multiple parameters, which are to be evaluated concurrently. Expanding material suitability Bioplastics (both biobased and biodegradable), like conventional polymers, typically demand excellent melt flow properties, tuning of rheology, and lubrication to minimize any undesired effect on intrinsic base polymer properties. These demands are applicable to plastics designed with the focus on sustainability that goes beyond the material’sorigin, as well as to reprocessing/recycling processes. Biopolymers can be divided into different classes including biopolyesters, polysaccharides, biobased polyamides/polyolefins, and so on. In all of them, the additives are critically required to achieve optimum processing and end-properties. For example, like the process limitations of PVC (due to the presence of -Cl in polymer backbone), the class of polyesters/polysaccharides can also be difficult to process due to the presence of -OH/other polar hydrophilic functionalities. This can be increased during the melt-blending processes in the presence of shear. Green additives can offer excellent flow properties, surface functionalization, after-melt processing (in the end-application) and thus, can be wellsuited for all the abovementioned base polymers and melt blending processes. Evolving process interest Additives are known to complement the base polymers in their corresponding areas of shortcoming. In the case of PVC, effective lubricants have been known to offer improved melt flow, which leads to extended heat stability and thus provide a wider processing window. Further, the role of slip additives is fairly critical to attain high process-efficiency and quality in polyolefin films. A similar rationale can be applied to bioplastics, where the inherent chemical properties may lead to processing challenges. The key to optimization lies in considering what the most critical factors during the processing phase are and then selecting the most suitable additive to enhance the process. Extending sustainability benefits Various articles by bioplastics experts have also mentioned the advantages offered by green additives. They can be the first step to include sustainability in various applications typically made from fossil-based polymers or they can replace fossil-based additives in polymers based on renewable sources, which would increase the amount of biobased carbon and thus contribute to an even more sustainable recipe. While additives typically constitute a relatively small fraction of the material, they can positively contribute to the bigger picture as they are a part of a holistic approach to protecting the environment. Thus, the Fine Green additives can potentially be the most suitable additive solutions to address the requirements of the various polymer processes. MT 50 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16

By: Amrita V. Poyekar Senior Technical Manager – Product Application Fine Organics Mumbai, India Additives End-process Additive FINE Green Additives Function Film blowing Sheet extrusion Slip additive Finawax E Reduced co-efficient of friction on film surface Hydrophobic surface (better protection from moisture) Improved scratch resistance Effective processing in extrusion Can control shear-induced premature Extrusion Lubricant & Melt Finawax B degradation flow enhancers Moulding Finawax S Good mould release/denesting Sheet extrusion Injection moulding Thermoforming Extrusion Film/sheet extrusion Thermoforming Antiscratch & Mould release Finalux PET 350 Minimized surface scratching, superior aesthetic Better mould release Plasticizer FinaFlex 1200 Optimum melt-flow during processing Extrusion Improved Dispersing Film/sheet extrusion FinaSperse DT 500 N additives & MPAs Thermoforming dispersion of pigments/fillers Processing benefits Lubrication Stay in the loop! Subscribe for free! @ Subscribe for free! @ Subscribe for free! @ bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/21] Vol. 16 51

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