Biopolymers Imerys minerals boost the performance of bioplastics for durable applications
Imerys provides a wide portfolio of engineered minerals to meet bioplastic requirements. Imerys minerals are 100% natural and inherently biocompatible making them the ideal agents for boosting the mechanical properties of rigid biopolymers, allowing them to be used in demanding applications such as durable packaging, automotive parts and electrical applications.
Bio-based polymer usage is quickly growing, driven by the increased awareness of preserving carbon-based fuels. This expanding usage is leading to more capacity coming on stream and lower prices for these polymers. Some of the more popular applications of bio-based polymers are for film, including mulch and agricultural films, shopping bags, compostable bags, and disposable items such as food packaging and disposable cutlery.
Minerals have been used to modify properties in conventional plastics for decades. Imerys is using its knowledge in this field to lead the way in how to marry mineral science with this evolving segment of polymer technology. Finding ways to enhance physical properties and improve cost effectiveness is allowing these bio-based polymers to match or exceed the performance of more traditionally used polymers.
Minerals are inherently biocompatible and their addition to biopolymers such as polylactic acid (PLA), polyhydroxy butyrate (PHB), polyhydroxy butyrate-valerate (PHBV), and naturally derived starch-based resins can help to reduce the carbon footprint of the final product.
Improved Film Properties
A popular use of biopolymers is in film where these resins can replace LLDPE. The addition of FilmLink™ 500 in a fully biodegradable and compostable modified polyester improves both the processing and tear strength.
Improved Flexural Modulus
Fine, high aspect ratio Mica (WG325) or an engineered Calcium carbonate (FilmLink™ 500) can be used to improve flexural modulus in biopolymer-based molded parts. For non color-sensitive applications, high aspect ratio Phlogopite mica (Suzorite® 325HK) is suggested.
Adding minerals contributes to a lower carbon footprint of the final product. Minerals generally require relatively low processing energy compared to the polymer, providing a significant reduction to the overall environmental impact.
Mineral addition can also help reduce the cost of the final article, depending on the polymer and the mineral used. They can often help in balancing the economics of replacing a conventional plastic with a biocomposite.
Minerals for use in Biodegradable Polymers and Biopolymers
We offer a full range of custom formulation and technical and process support services to help you match the right mineral grade to your application requirement.