Chemicals group Perstorp launched a new line at K named ‘Capa’, designed for biodegradeability enhancement. The group says that considerable investments have been made in caprolactones (a biodegradable polyester) to to deal with issues surrounding sustainability, biodegradability and product safety.
Perstorp says that its caprolactones enhance the properties of bioplastics allowing them to be used for “new market opportunities and applications”.
Speaking with EPPM at the show, Linda Nilsson, Project Manager stated that the product is tested to the European standard EN13432. She said that the tests were conducted in such a way that was comparable to household composting, rather than under industrial composting conditions. Under optimal conditions, she said that Capa can biodegrade in 40 days. Nilsson confirmed that the tests took place at an independent test institute in Sweden.
According to the group, the Capa line was designed to improve several mechanical properties as well as accelerating the biodegradation of biopolymers. Perstorp’s main claim for the product is that: “Bioplastics with Capa biodegrade quickly in the right conditions — you can use domestic composting, rather than industrial requiring a higher temperature.” It is also said to offer excellent tear properties by adding mechanical strength, and making the bioplastic more flexible, so that it elongates and stretches rather than tearing. The low temperature performance also allows for bioplastic products to be used in cold environments.
The low melting point reduces energy consumption when processing. By adding Capa, Perstorp claims that PLA can be used in film applications. It can be blended with PLA and starch-based polymers. It can be used in disposables – for plastic bags, compost bags, coated paper and one-time plastic cutlery, and in renewables – for cutlery, trays and items that need to last a year or two. Bioplastics are now broadening out into electronic equipment, such as mobile handsets and casings, and making inroads into automotive parts too. Perstorp said that “Capa is an essential part of this journey into these new market segments”.
During the event, Perstorp also showcased its new products for carbon source for intumescent flame-retardants, non-phthalate plasticizers for sensitive applications and new high heat resistant transparent thermoplastic co-polyesters for plastic packaging and durable applications.