Teijin Ltd., the Japanese supplier of stereocomplex polylactic acid (PLA) polymer, says Biofront, its biodegradable offering, now boasts virtually the same level of durability as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin.
The new Biofront is said to possess at least 10 times more hydrolytic resistance than conventional commercial bioplastics, translating to substantially improved resistance to hydrolytic degradation in hot and humid conditions. Teijin says this will, create new opportunities for the plant-based material’s application in high-heat and high-humidity applications, such as automotive and electronics.
Plant-based Biofront was first developed in 2006 and launched in the following year. Differing from conventional PLA, which is comprised solely of poly-L-lactic acid polymer, stereocomplex PLA also contains the poly-D-lactic acid enantiomer. This results in a melting point that is more than 40°C higher than standard PLA, putting Biofront’s heat resistance on a par with petroleum-derived polybutylene terephthalate (PBT). As with other bioplastics, however, it was previously susceptible to hydrolytic degradation in hot or humid conditions, thereby limiting its application.