Bioplastics help manufacturing companies stay competitive by helping to meet rising consumer expectations of sustainability. They are often derived from various biomass sources, the most widely used being starch, which is a natural polymer that can be incorporated in various materials. Starch-based plastics can be used in a variety of applications since they can be incorporated with various petroleum-based polymers or biopolymers to create unique composite materials. These composite materials can then be injection molded or extruded using standard processing machinery.
In general, starch-based plastics are more cost competitive than alternative bioplastics. They can accommodate a wide range of physical properties that alternative bioplastics lack, such as tensile strength and heat tolerance. Starch composites can also incorporate recycled plastics. Our team recommends starch-based plastics when recycled plastics need to be used or if clients require a material that exhibits properties alternative biobased materials cannot display.
Starch can be used to reduce the carbon footprint of traditional resins because they can replace petroleum-based polymers with natural ones. It is also highly degradable, meaning it can be used alongside a compostable polymer without interfering with the degradation process.
An analysis of a new market research report stated that "starch blends are expected to account for the largest share in the market" from 2015 to 2020. Out of the 2.05 million tons of bioplastics produced in 2017 worldwide, starch blends accounted for 18.8%. In fact, European Bioplastics stated that "Bioplastics are used in an increasing number of markets, from packaging, catering products, consumer electronics, automotive, agriculture/horticulture and toys to textiles and a number of other segments."
These diverse applications mean that identifying the correct combination of materials is critical. Their physical properties differ from unfilled plastics because they can be processed similarly to mineral-filled plastics. However, proper formulation can overcome most issues. Future opportunities will come from a continued capacity for growth and consumer demand for environmentally-friendly products as well as efforts to reduce pollution and reliance on petroleum-based products.
The Huawei New Materials team has successfully developed Biodegradable & compostable BAG from compostable, starch-based plastics. Additional opportunities are expected in compostable yard and kitchen bags, food service disposables and various types of packaging.
Starch-based plastics have increased in relevance with the introduction of improved resin grades, their ability to blend with other biopolymers and an increasing number of suppliers. In fact, starch-based bioplastics are widely employed in the medical industry because of their biocompatibility, low toxicity, degradation properties and mechanical properties.
Starch based biodegradable & Compostable resin is a type of plastic that can break down into natural materials through the action of microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi. And it is ideal for injection molding applications and extrusion. It can be applied on conventional Plastic Film extrusion machines, Bag converters, and Bag Printing Machines. Equipment configuration is equivalent to LDPE extrusion, with LDPE die, and blow ratio set at 1:3~4. Film gauge can be as thin as 0.01mm. Would like to know more? Contact us now!