Biodegradable Masterbatch Promotes Green Manufacturing

July 2, 2010

1 Min Read
Biodegradable Masterbatch Promotes Green Manufacturing

When added to thermoplastic polyolefins, a biodegradable masterbatch unveiled by Chroma Corp. (McHenry, IL) initiates a natural process in standard polypropylene and polyethylene that allows the materials to break down and 'return to nature,' according to the company. The FDA-sanctioned and RoHS-compliant additive is suitable for use in a variety of disposable medical products.

The additive, according to the company, offers a number of advantages compared with other environmentally friendly materials. "This product allows plastics that have the biodegradable additive to also be recycled without causing damage to the recycled resin stream, which the PLA resins can cause," says Stuart Swain, director of sales and marketing for Chroma Corp. "Unlike PLA resins, this product can be used in standard tooling, offers enhanced physical properties, and [is offered] at a much lower overall cost."

In response to natural elements such as sunlight and heat, the biodegradable masterbatch is designed to lower the molecular weight of the polymer compounds to facilitate faster oxidative bonding than compounds that do not feature the biodegradable additive. Expedited oxidative degradation of high-molecular-weight polymer chains into low-molecular-weight compounds translates into a faster breakdown of the materials and their 'return to nature.'

The shelf life of the material can be determined by the amount of concentrate companies choose to employ. Use rates typically range from 1 to 4%, Chroma states. In addition, the masterbatch can be processed using thin-walled injection molding, sheet extrusion, blow molding, and blown film operations.

Read more about green materials for medical applications from the recent MPMN article "Suppliers Aim to Renew OEMs' Interest in Eco-Friendly Plastics."

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