Eastman Chemical, a pioneer in the production of cellulosics for more than 100 years, is making its first foray into high-performance engineering bioplastics.
Eastman did pioneering work on cellulosics for use in celluloid film, and also worked on cellulose-based plastics. Tenite acetate, developed in 1929 by Tennessee Eastman, was an early thermoplastic and was used in Craftsman tool handles, toys, sunglass frames, and toothbrush handles. One characteristic is a soft wood-like feel. It’s a plastic made from soft woods, not wood compounded with a thermoplastic like polyethylene. Cellulose is chemically similar to starch.
Cellulosic plastics seem to have been on the decline for at least 60 years as newer, better thermoplastics were developed. They
Eastman Chemical announced today that it will introduce a “high-performing engineering bioplastic” based on cellulose at Chinaplas 2017 (May 16-19; China Import & Export Fair Complex, Pazhou, Guangzhou, PR China). No details will be released until the show.
It’s interesting that celluloid movie film—the original moneymaker driving the bus—is virtually dead, but the plastics side of the business still has life.