Green Matter: New green modifiers target growing bioplastic, bioplastic composite market


Last week at PlasticsToday we wrote that Addivant (Middlebury, CT), the former antioxidant and UV stabilizer business of Chemtura, is "looking to shake up the polymer additives sector." This week, with the announcement of the commercialization of two new biobased polymer modifiers, it became clear that they weren't planning to waste any time before doing so.

The two new additives, Polybond 6009 and Polybond 6029, are specialty grades that expand the Polybond line of polymer modifiers. They are also company's first polymer modifiers derived from renewable resources, developed specifically to act as coupling agents or compatibilizers in formulations where high renewable content raw materials are desired.

Coupling agents or compatibilizers are used to increase the adhesion between two immiscible polymers, or between a polymer and a filler material. Use of these agents often also serves to enhance dispersion.

Today, as the volume and types of thermoplastic materials derived from renewable resources continue to grow, new blends of biopolymers or of conventional polymers and biopolymers are emerging at a rapid pace. Moreover, advancing technology in the field of thermoplastic biocomposites-oil-based polymers or biopolymers reinforced with natural fibers such as wood, rice husks, flax, hemp or straw-has boosted the applications for these materials, which can now be found in sectors ranging from construction to automotive.

The advantages of employing natural fibers, next to their "green is better" image, are low cost, low density and high toughness, but weak compatibility between fibers and polymer matrix and the low dispersion degree of the fibers can negatively impact the performance of these materials.

Chemically coupled
Biopolymers incorporating the new Polybond products benefit from enhanced mechanical and physical properties resulting from the chemical coupling of the polar and non-polar components of the formulation. In addition, these materials can be used as a tie layer in multi-layer extruded applications where a high renewable content is desired. Polybond 6009 and Polybond 6029 do not use petroleum-based feedstocks and both contain greater than 95% renewable content raw materials.

The launch of the new Polybond grades complements a growing portfolio of Addivant additives developed from renewable resources. Products such as the company's Genox high performance, phenol-free stabilizers, derived from rapeseed oil, that function as both a primary and secondary antioxidant to offer excellent melt flow and color protection during polyolefin processing.