It is being used as a substitute for high density and low-density polyethylene, polystyrene, polyethylene-terephtalate and polypropylene. It is successfully employed in single-use products such as drink cups, trays as well as films and non-woven textiles. PLA’s brittleness and low gas barrier caused by very low level of crystallinity (even 1%) can pose limitations for certain applications, such as food packaging, which is however compensated by its lower price compared to PHB. PLA has a higher tensile strength and modulus than typical PHB. Its glass transition temperature being higher makes it more suitable for rigid products. We offer modification of PLA as well in order to tune its properties towards your desired application.
Production of PLA starts with fermentation of simple sugars from plant origins such as corn, sugar beet, potatoes, wheat etc. Product of this fermentation is lactic acid and this process is widely used in food industry for production of yoghurts, cottage cheese and even some beers and pickled vegetables. For plastics production, lactic acid can be polymerized either directly or through creation of its cyclic diester called lactide, as an intermediate.
PLA is fully obtained from renewable resources and in temperatures above 60°C, sufficient humidity and presence of microorganisms it will show signs of degradation after six months until it will finally be wholly utilized by the microorganisms. Thus, in compost, PLA products will return to nature, but at room temperature and humidity it will endure for centuries. We can provide you with many grades of PLA prepared for processing in injection molding, film blowing, production of fibres or non-wovens as well as sheet production.
Disclaimer: all data and information obtained via our site including but not limited to material suitability, material properties, performances and characteristics are given for information purpose only. Although the data and information contained here are believed to be accurate and correspond to the best of our knowledge, they are provided without implied warranty of any kind. Part of the data and information contained here are genericised based on commercial literature provided by polymer suppliers and other parts are coming from assessments of our experts.
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