Cross Plains, WI: Custom thermoformer, Plastic Ingenuity, has developed a proprietary process improvement that significantly increases the heat deflection temperature in PLA (Polylactic Acid) material, clearing a significant hurdle regarding this sustainable material. This advancement includes a material enhancement and unique processing techniques to attain higher temperature PLA.
Stock versions of PLA material could only withstand temperatures of 110 F before the integrity of the part became compromised. This was a major issue regarding transportation, especially during summer months and in warmer climates where the temperature can easily surpass 110 F in unconditioned environments.
Plastic Ingenuity has formed PLA parts that have heat deflection temperatures of approximately 200 F with no apparent ill effects after rigorous trials and studies. "To our knowledge we are the first thermoformer in the industry to have attained heat deflection temperatures at these levels, and we have a vast array of studies to support these claims," said Bob Whitish, Project Engineer at Plastic Ingenuity.
"To date, we have sampled over 200 new and different bio-materials/bio-material combinations. It is our goal to find multiple bio-based materials that will meet the requirements of a multitude of packages whether their vital characteristic is clarity, impact strength, heat deflection resistance or any of a variety of other characteristics," he said.
With the global emphasis on sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions, Plastic Ingenuity's ability to thermoform a high heat deflection PLA gives customers a viable alternative to petroleum based packaging. PLA is derived from corn, and is biodegradable and compostable per EN13432 (ASTM D6400) industry standards.
Plastic Ingenuity has been a national leader in the light gauge custom thermoforming industry since 1972, and continues to lead the industry with its unparalleled innovation and R&D. For more information contact Plastic Ingenuity at 608-798-3071.