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Europe: FKuR, Corbion Purac to develop heat resistant PLA compounds for packaging

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Bioplastic company FKuR Kunststoff GmbH and Corbion Purac are developing poly lactic acid (PLA) compounds for both heat resistant and genetically modified organism-free applications.

Both companies are targeting new bioplastic compounds for applications that include both food and non-food packaging, as well as several durable products such as toys and office supplies.

They will be working to develop applications where high temperature resistance is required, which, until now, could not work with many standard bioplastics.

In order to develop new markets for PLA, both partners have agreed to a common development.

Overcoming heat

Historically, PLA´s greatest challenge has been withstanding higher temperatures.

In ambient conditions during the summer, for example, unmodified PLA´s can experience difficulty maintaining dimensional stability in higher temperatures.

There is also the optimization of mechanical properties to increase the range of applications, and to adapt the polymers to run on existing processing equipment.

A part of the development project by the two companies was also to reduce the cycle time of PLA, particularly during injection molding.

After the initial highly promising trials in October 2013, FKuR has begun systematic testing using PLA based on lactides from Corbion in its formulations.

One of the first commercial applications resulting from this development work is a heat resistant thermoformed food tray, produced from Bio-Flex F 6611 by Italian company Plastisud.