Partnership to develop heat-resistant PLA film

Innovia Films Pty Ltd
Wednesday, 09 October, 2013

Innovia Films is partnering with Corbion Purac, a lactic acid and lactides producer, to develop poly lactic acid (PLA) film that is transparent and resistant to high temperatures.

Corbion Purac’s dedicated research efforts brought high-heat PLA to market. Innovia has recognised an opportunity to work together to further develop a transparent, heat-resistant PLA film.

Many biopolymers, including existing PLA, have limited heat resistance, which has historically limited brand owners and packaging converters to oil-based plastics for many applications. Corbion Purac and Innovia’s partnership aims to develop a bio-based, temperature-stable, transparent PLA film.

According to the companies, early product development shows that these films exhibit considerably less shrinkage at high temperatures compared to existing PLA films and offer properties much closer to oil-based PET.

Possible opportunities for the new bioplastic film include both food and non-food packaging and many industrial applications. In food packaging such as juice or soup pouches, the new PLA film will be able to withstand the temperatures required for sterilisation. Non-food applications could include release liners for pressure-sensitive products, window films and protective films for smartphone screens. Many of these applications require thermal stability during processing or use.

“Dimensional stability, particularly at high temperatures, is a real weakness in biofilms,” said Steve Langstaff, Product Development Manager at Innovia. “This new development will fill a performance gap in the market and is a great opportunity for both Innovia and Corbion Purac.”

Corbion Purac’s lactide monomers are sourced from GMO-free, renewable feedstocks such as sugar cane, and form the basis for high-performance PLA bioplastics.

The two companies have successfully produced a range of prototype transparent films. These will be exhibited on the Corbion Purac stand at the K 2013 trade fair from 16 to 23 October in Dusseldorf.

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