To commercialize the “dreamlike plastic” of polylactic acid, Bioworks developed a reforming agent (additive) for polylactic acid, and accumulated know-how to deploy high-function polylactic acid to broad applications. The reforming agent that realizes customer needs and the know-how required to commercialize the high-function polylactic acid are great advantages of Bioworks.
These allow for molding of 100% polylactic acid materials into products of various forms without blending with other resins to compensate for poor processability and physical properties. Conventional facilities and molds for PP and PET, etc. can be used and the cycle time for molding will not be longer.
Compounds for injection molding
Bioworks offers molding materials corresponding to varied needs in terms of heat resistance, impact resistance, flexibility, flame resistance, and durability, etc., for applications in automotive parts, office equipment, household electric appliances, every-day commodities, and others. Moreover, dyeing is possible even after molding.
Compounds for Blow molding
Bioworks offers molding materials corresponding to varied needs in terms of heat resistance, impact resistance, flexibility, flame resistance, and durability, etc. Possible applications include automotive parts (ducts, aero parts, tanks, absorbers, etc.), bottles, and mannequins, etc.
→ Heat-proof bottles can be made by injection blow molding with transparency maintained and without rupture or whitening.
→Direct blow molding of larger items is possible without drawdown.
Compounds for film/sheet / heat-proof sheet for vacuum molding
Bioworks succeeded in the development of a transparent and heat-proof polylactic acid sheet and vacuum-molded polylactic sheet items. Superior heat resistance (140℃) is realized in the sheets while transparency equivalent to resins used for food container lids, e.g. PET and OPS, is maintained. The products also exhibit excellent impact resistance at low temperature sufficient to replace PP. Also, there are no concerns about environmental hormone because the resin is plant-derived.
→ For example, a lunchbox container that is not deformed by microwave heating and emits no plastic odor, and transparent coffee cup lid are possible.
Compounds for fabrics / fibers and woven/unwoven fabrics
Bioworks offers natural fabrics equipped with strengths of both chemical fabrics and conventional natural fabrics. Their strength and elongation are equivalent to those of polyester and contraction recovery is only one tenth of polyester. Productivity at the nylon resin level and constant fineness of yarns in manufacturing processes have also been demonstrated. Dyeing is possible with natural dyes such as indigo. Further, the fabrics are friendly to human skin as they are weak-acid and antibacterial.
Monofilament for 3D printer
Polylactic acid reformed by Bioworks additive (molding at room temperature and high crystallization are possible) can be used to provide filaments much superior to conventional filaments.
Their flexibility, which is comparable with ABS, makes surface treatment (by sandpaper, etc.) easy. The filaments are crystallized and solidified at room temperature. This improves heat resistance and eliminates the risk of deformation in hot seasons or due to exposure to hot water. It hardly shrinks and thus moldings will be free of warpage.
[Example Application] Foam containers/trays for foods
In recent years, restrictions on the use of foam containers have started to be enforced in different parts of the world.
1) Polylactic acid foam products are biodegradable and expected to replace conventional foam containers.
2) Existing polylactic foam products have various issues, such as low expansion ratio, hardness, lack of heat resistance, and poor fusion formability of expansion beads.
→ Bioworks additive achieves:
◇ Low dynamic viscosity ⇒ High expansion ratio
◇ High flexibility ⇒ Improved flexibility and formability
◇ High crystallinity ⇒ High heat resistance
* This image is only for reference.
[Example Application] Sensor device (piezo-electric device)
Piezo-electric organic films are transparent and flexible and expected to be adopted in various applications such as curved touch panels. Voltage is created in piezo-electric films along with subtle deflection when they are touched.
Conventional piezo-electric substances:
〇 PZT (lead zirconate titanate) lacks flexibility and transparency because it is ceramic. Applications are also limited as it contains lead.
〇 PVDF (polyvinylidene difluoride) is flexible and transparent, but industrial-scale production is difficult as it requires electric field orientation. It is pyro-electric and applications are limited due to temperature variation and potential generation caused thereby.
Polylactic acid is piezo-electric, not pyro-electric.
1) Crystallization is required to ensure the piezo-electric property, but conventional polylactic acid becomes clouded when crystallized.
2) Conventional polylactic acid is hard and brittle, i.e. lacking flexibility. Therefore, its applications are limited.
→ Bioworks additive:
Allows for practically satisfying the piezo-electric property (crystallization), transparency, flexibility, and safety requirements.