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World's first bioplastic PLA touchscreen computer launched

article image The world's first bioplastic touch screen computer features a high gloss housing made from high heat PLA

A new bioplastic touch screen computer has been developed by SUPLA in collaboration with Kuender based on lactides from Corbion Purac.

SUPLA, who announced plans for a 10 kT polymerization plant earlier this year, has developed optimised PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) compounds for the consumer electronics industry based on lactides from Corbion Purac. The world's first bioplastic touch screen computer features a high gloss housing made from high heat PLA. 

Corbion Purac, the global leader in lactic acid and lactides, will showcase this computer at K 2013.

Heat resistance is one of the key challenges for biopolymers as it has limited their suitability for consumer electronics in the past. However, lactide monomers from Corbion Purac form the basis for improved performance PLA, and are therefore the preferred choice for SUPLA.

Dr Robin Wu, Chairman of SUPLA explains it takes a lot of effort to develop a durable grade of PLA, but it can be done with the right choice of raw material.

In addition to increased heat resistance, the PLA blends used for the monitor screens also bring improved impact resistance, excellent high gloss finish and stable, precise processing. All these factors are of critical importance for the large scale consumer electronics market, which also includes applications such as mobile phones, laptops, games consoles and tablets. 

Kuender, a leading Taiwanese OEM/ODM of consumer electronics for many brand customers, has been working closely with SUPLA to ensure that the blends are suitable for commercial production of consumer electronics housings. 

According to Dr Wen-Jeng Kuo, president of Kuender, they have, in addition to the PLA blends also developed techniques for the injection process, proving their ability to provide a total solution for making green products.

Corbion Purac’s lactide monomers are sourced from GMO-free, renewable feedstock such as sugarcane, and form the basis for high performance Poly Lactic Acid bioplastics (PLA). The resulting homopolymers are already proven to withstand boiling water, and can now boast performance characteristics to rival their oil-based counterparts. As a result, PLA can replace oil-based plastics such as PP, PS and ABS, and reduce the current dependency on fossil fuels. 

Jeroen Jonker, Senior Vice President Bioplastics at Corbion Purac is looking forward to showcasing the ground-breaking application to visitors at K 2013. Corbion Purac anticipates this development will be well received by their global community of sustainability-conscious consumers.

The computer will be on display at Corbion Purac's stand at K 2013 (hall 5, B22) from 16th to 23rd October in Dusseldorf, Germany. Representatives from SUPLA and Kuender will also be present at the stand to answer questions and product queries from 14:00 – 15:00 on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th October.

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