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Issue 05/2016

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Basics Polybutylene

Basics Polybutylene Succinate (PBS) an innovative biopolymer for the bioplastics toolbox Polybutylene Succinate (PBS) is a crystalline polyester which is produced from Succinic Acid and 1.4-Butanediol (BDO). By usage of Succinic Acid and BDO from renewable resources, PBS can be up to 100 % biobased. PBS is quite flexible and has a balanced property profile. It has a melting temperature exceeding 100 °C, which is crucial for applications that require high temperature stability. Its mechanical properties are similar to those of LDPE. The mechanical properties of PBS can be tuned either by copolymerization e.g. with adipic acid and also by creating blends/compounds with other polymers. Amongst the different possibilities for PBS copolymers, PBST and PBSA are the most commonly mentioned in literature. Generally speaking, copolymerization yields higher impact strength and elongationat break. PBS is easily compounded with other polymers, for example PLA and PBAT. PBS can be processed by most conventional conversion methods, such as injection, extrusion or blow moulding. PBS takes an interesting spot in the bioplastics material coordinate system due to its up to 100 % biobased content and its biodegradability under industrial conditions (according to DIN EN 13432). Also, CO 2 is captured during the production of Biobased Succinic Acid. Furthermore, PBS and its monomers have a relatively high Biomass Utilisation Efficiency (BUE; source Nova Institute 2016), compared to other biobased building blocks. Due to these interesting material properties, its eco-profile and its high versatility, Bio-PBS is gaining increasing attention in the framework of the growing bio-based economy. Mostly used as a blend partner in combination with other bioplastics (such as PLA), it plays an important role in the development of new bioplastics products. Application examples include food packaging, food service ware, single use coffee capsules, agricultural products (mulch films), but also durable applications, e.g. composite materials for automotive. | | By: Markus Hummelsberger Marketing & Sales Director Succinity, Düsseldorf, Germany 5B22 62 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/16] Vol. 11 bioplastics [06/01] Vol. 1 19 10 Years ago Applications Complete mobile phone housing made of PLA, Heat resistance Heat distortion temp. / °C Fig. 2 120 100 80 60 40 20 Load : 1.80MPa 0 0 5 10 15 20 Kenaf fiber content / wt % Modulus Elastic modulus / GPa 8.0 6.0 4.0 2.0 0 Petroleum resourced plastic without fiber (ABS) Fig. 3 Petroleum resourced plastic without fiber (ABS) 0 5 10 15 20 Kenaf fiber content / wt % 18 bioplastics [06/01] Vol. 1 Source NEC NEC Corporation and UNITIKA LTD have announced joint development of bioplastic composites, consisting Photo NEC of PLA reinforced with kenaf fibre (see box), which is expected to contribute greatly to environmental measures for mobile phones. NTT DoCoMo, Inc., Japan’s premier mobile communications company, is already using this new material in the entire housing of its new FOMA N701iECO mobile phone, that was recently launched on the Japanese market. Application of PLA to electronic devices is difficult, since conventional PLA has insufficient heat resistance and strength. However, NEC succeeded in improving the heat resistance, strength and durability of PLA by adding kenaf fibres to it, an additional measure for the prevention of global warming. More recent research carried out by NEC together with UNITIKA resulted in further improvement of the characteristics of the kenaf fibre reinforced PLA in order to allow its application to mobile phones. Its moisture resistance was improved by UNITIKA by the use of its commercialised PLA ‘TERRA- MAC.‘ “The newly developed bioplastic composite achieves the highest biomass ingredient ratio of all bioplastics that are currently being used in electronic devices, with a ratio of approximately 90%”, says Dr Masatoshi IJI, Research Fellow in the Fundamental and Environmental Research Laboratories of NEC. It simultaneously achieves a high level of falling impact durability, mouldability and heat resistance, that are all desired features for mobile phone casings. Published in bioplastics MAGAZINE Impact stregth / kJ-m -1 Fig. 1 8 6 PLA 4 2 0 PLA+ kenaf (

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