BASF offers new ecovio grade for thermoforming

BASF has added variants to its range of the compostable and partially bio-based plastic ecovio grades - the ecovio T2308 is now available for the processing method of thermoforming, and the new ecovio IS1335 grade for injection moulding.

The ecovio grades that have made their mark on the market are those for the extrusion sector, and used for producing films that can then be further processed into bags as well as mulch film.

Since the packaging sector is displaying a growing interest in certified compostable plastics, BASF has now augmented its product line by new grades intended for two other significant processing technologies. Both of these products are now available in commercial quantities. They consist predominantly of renewable raw materials and lend themselves well for being dyed.

The Ecovio T2308 can be used for making trays and cups. The plastic exhibits similar mechanical properties to those of amorphous PET, but differs in the level of compostability and its high content of renewable resources (polylactic acid).

The content of ecoflex, which is BASF’s compostable polyester, accounts for the fact that the material is not too stiff or too brittle. As a result, thermoformed trays and cups are not damaged during transportation and storage. The ecoflex component also ensures a balanced stiffness-to-strength ratio and sufficient low-temperature impact strength.

The processing window for Ecovio T, between 80°C and 120°C [176°F and 248°F], is very broad in comparison to other plastics. Processing can be carried out on conventional flat-film installations and at the processing speeds that are typical for thermoforming. Like all Ecovio grades, it also complies with the stipulations for products that come into contact with food. The material is translucent and can be adequately sealed with cover films.

Meanwhile, the injection-moulding grade Ecovio IS1335, also offers good stiffness and can be processed using single-cavity or multi-cavity moulds that are equipped with or without hot runners.

This material exhibits moderate flowing characteristics and is dimensionally stable under heat up to 55°C [131°F]. This variant lends itself for thin-walled, complex and high-quality packaging, which should preferably be manufactured by injection moulding and should be compostable. With an eye towards differentiating the product on the market, the product can also be decorated employing in-mould labeling.

Working with independent institutes, BASF has conducted experiments on the compostability of injection-moulded test specimens. Results show that, depending on the application, injection-moulded products made of Ecovio IS1335 having wall thicknesses of as much as 1.1 mm degrade in accordance with the EN 13432 standard for compostable packaging.

(IMA)

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