WEB EXCLUSIVE: Arkema Group’s subsidiary, Altuglas International
, King of Prussia, Pa., and NatureWorks LLC
, Minnetonka, Minn., have entered a global marketing collaboration to provide a range of high-performance alloys based on PMMA and PLA. Altuglas supplies acrylic resins under the brand names Plexiglas in the Americas and Altuglas in the rest of the world. NatureWorks is the leading producer of PLA biopolymers under the name Ingeo. The two companies are pooling their resources to accelerate the introduction of these biopolymer alloys into the market.
The new partially biobased alloys will be sold as Plexiglas Rnew (Altuglas Rnew outside the U.S.) by Altuglas. The primary co-marketing efforts will be aimed at durable-goods applications. The materials are expected to afford customizable formulating latitude and provide exceptional impact and chemical resistance.
In addition to offering a significantly lower carbon footprint, these alloys will have lower processing temperatures and greater melt flow without compromising optics, scratch resistance, colorability, or surface aesthetics. The partners expect this combination of properties to open new doors in markets such as signage, lighting, consumer products, transportation, cosmetics packaging, and large and small appliances.
Though often criticized, MFR is a very good gauge of the relative average molecular weight of the polymer. Since molecular weight (MW) is the driving force behind performance in polymers, it turns out to be a very useful number.
Wood-plastic composites, or WPCs, are already a 1.3-billion-lb market and are growing at 20% annually.
U.S. injection molders are still pretty green when it comes to processing the new crop of renewably sourced biopolymers. These biologically derived polymers made from PLA, PHA and starch-based resins are attracting growing market interest as materials with no ties to petrochemical-based thermoplastics.