Natureplast, a French company offering support, research and distribution services in the field of bioplastics, has now developed PLA grades with a high thermal resistance and optimized production outputs, compared to current similar products available on the market. PLA (polylactic acid) is one of the most commonly produced and used bioplastics. The new grades are easily processable on all standard equipment and are approved for sensitive applications such as food-contact packaging, cosmetics containers and textile fibers.
Although highly valued as a renewably sourced plastic that has the additional advantage of compostability at the end of life (certified according to EN 13432:2000), widespread application of PLA has been hampered by a number of technical drawbacks—specifically its mechanical (low impact resistance) and thermal (heat resistant up to 55°C) properties.
While earlier developed heat-resistant PLA grades offering thermal stability up to 120°C are currently available on the market, these improved thermal properties come at a price. Injection molding cycle times are significantly higher compared to a nonmodified PLA, leading to lower productivity.