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Plastics processors hoping to give their polylactic acid a Popeye-like extra dose of strength can turn to compound supplier PolyOne, which now is the exclusive European supplier of ready-to-use masterbatches with Dow Plastics Additives' Paraloid BPM-520.

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Bioplastics: PolyOne offering masterbatches based on Dow’s PLA impact modifier

Paraloid BPM-520. Paraloid BPM-520 and PolyOne's OnCap BIO L masterbatch were launched at PolyOne's stand at Interpack, a global trade show for the packaging industry, which opened yesterday in Düsseldorf, Germany. Outside of Europe PARALOID BPM-520 modifier is available directly from Dow as an additive in powder form.

Dow produces Paraloid BPM-520 at its facility in Jurong, Singapore; it acquired the Paraloid formulations as part of its acquisition of Rohm & Haas in 2009. PolyOne incorporates the impact modifier into its OnCap BIO Impact L masterbatches, which it markets in Europe, Asia, and South America. The Dow additive is said to help improve the impact resistance of opaque, injection molded polylactic acid (PLA) products with minimal effect on heat distortion temperature and stiffness. PLA is derived from cornstarch; its brittle nature means that for many applications, modifiers are required to improve its impact resistance. Paraloid BPM-520 is designed for use with injection molded PLA applications to improve their impact strength at room and sub-zero temperatures.

According to the two companies, OnCap BIO L flows well for mold filling, maintains part stiffness, and can be easily colored. The master batch and additive can be used in compliance with the Commission Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 on plastics materials and articles intended to come into contact with food and with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements.

"Our relationship with Dow allows us to develop a masterbatch family that will broaden the performance window of PLA and that also builds on the market acceptance gained with our OnCap BIO Impact T additives," said Marcel Dartée, PolyOne global marketing director for biopolymers. "Our ability to create new applications for PLA within the marketplace will clearly help extend the reach of sustainable solutions in packaging applications and give our customers an eco-conscious alternative previously unavailable to them in an operationally efficient form." PolyOne also offers the OnCap BIO range of additive concentrate products in different formats for use with other biodegradable resins such as PHA, PHBV, PBS, PBAT, and blends.

PolyOne Corporation says it is the first supplier to be granted OK Compost certification by AIB Vinçotte for its full range of colorants and additives. Because the PolyOne solutions meet this standard, they are authorized to use the OK Compost label, which identifies the item as biodegradable in an industrial composting plant. To qualify for this label, manufacturers must demonstrate that all components of a product or package, including inks, pigments and additives, meet European Norm EN 13432 on "Requirements for packaging recoverable through composting and biodegradation. Test scheme and evaluation criteria for the final acceptance of packaging."

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