NatureWorks is targeting ABS replacement in PC/ABS in major durable applications including automotive interiors and business machines.
"The standard grade of ABS is a straight drop in for ABS in existing tooling," said Frank Diodato, business director, durables, at NatureWorks, in an interview. The cost is about $1/lb, comparable to ABS in most areas of the world.
So far penetration of the bioplastic is more advanced in business machines than in automotive.
One problem in automotive is humidity and thermal requirements in standard accelerated aging tests. Diodato said that the PC/PLA compounds function well in actual functional testing in cars, but fall short of stringent testing requirements. "Some relaxation of those test requirements may be required to use the standard PLA in auto interiors," he commented.