The PLA compound that Teijin Ltd. and Panasonic Electric Works Co. have developed jointly, which boasts a melting point of at least 210ºC for high heat stability, is now being marketed by Panasonic, and is reported to cut molding cycle time by about half compared to conventional PLA compounds.
Marketed under Panasonic's brand with the trade name MBA900H, the compound is 80% from plant-based renewable feedstock, namely Teijin's Biofront PLA, and is said to incorporate better hydrolytic stability than conventional PLA, and achieves semi-crystallization in 20-25% the time needed by conventional PLA.
Panasonic initially is targeting the material at such applications as housings for mobile phones and other mobile devices, and then will expand to the broader consumer electronic markets. Bioplastics, say the two companies, are finding increased use in consumer electronics, as well as auto interiors, among others. But, say Panasonic and Teijin, until now attaining the desired levels of heat resistance has required a high ratio of non-renewably-sourced plastics.
Panasonic says its initial production goal for MBA900H is to reach 1000 tons annually when its fiscal year 2012 ends in March 2013. Teijin intends to continue expanding the applications and markets for its Biofront, which is already used in clothing, autos, and consumer electronics. It aims to make about 5,000 tons of the material in its fiscal 2011 and eventually reach several tens of thousands of tons.
For additional information on Teijin's Biofront PLA material, which in addition to its higher melting point offers at least 10 times more hydrolytic resistance than conventional bioplastics, click here.