The move to higher-quality bioplastics continues.
NatureWorks is installing new equipment from Sulzer Chemtech to increase production of Ingeo polylactic acid and to produce new, high-performance resins and lactides.
NatureWorks says it will be the first to offer commercial quantities of a high-purity, polymer-grade lactide that is rich in the stereoisomer meso-lactide. It will be used as an intermediate for copolymers, amorphous resins, grafted substrates, resin additives/modifiers, adhesives, coatings, elastomers, surfactants, thermosets and solvents.
The new materials will be competing against what are described chemically as racemic lactides. “Compared to these, the high-purity Ingeo M700 will be easier to process and an overall cost effective alternative to racemic, L- and D-lactides in a host of industrial applications,” said Manuel Natal, global segment leader for lactide derivatives at NatureWorks.
NatureWorks will be introducing new injection molding and fibers grades. New injection molding grades Ingeo 3100HP and 3260HP are designed for use in medium and high flow nucleated formulations to provide a balance of mechanical and thermal properties, while delivering up to 75% cycle time savings over formulations based on current Ingeo grades. Heat distortion temperatures (@ 66 psig) are expected to be 15°C higher than what is achievable today.