PLA is short for Polylactic acid or polylactide.
It is a new type of biodegradable material, which is derived from renewable starch resources, such as corn, cassava and other crops. It is fermented and extracted by microorganisms to obtain lactic acid, and then refined, dehydrated, oligomerized, pyrolyzed, and polymerized.
PLA products can be completely degraded by microorganisms in the soil within 12 months after being discarded, generating CO2 and water, and no pollution to the environment. PLA raw materials are widely used in the production of packaging materials, disposable tableware, appliance shells, fibers, 3D consumables, etc.
Since PLA is derived from renewable plant resources, rather than petroleum-based traditional plastics, it can truly achieve energy conservation and environmental protection, and is considered the most promising new "ecological material".
PLA’s Molecular formula: (C3H4O2)n
PLA’s Density: 1.21 to 1.43 g/cm³
PLA’s Melting point: 175 to 178 ℃
PLA’s Water solubility: insoluble
PLA’s Physical properties
Density: 1.20-1.30 kg/L
Melting point: 155-185°C,
Intrinsic viscosity IV: 0.2-8 dL/g
Glass transition temperature: 60-65°C,
Heat transfer coefficient: 0.025 λ(w/m*k)
PLA’s Mechanical Properties
Tensile strength: 40-60 MPa
Elongation at break: 4%-10%
Modulus of elasticity: 3000-4000 MPa
Flexural modulus: 100-150 MPa
Izod impact strength (unnotched): 150-300 J/m
Izod impact strength (notched): 20-60 J/m
Rockwell hardness: 88
SPI Logo of the PLA
The Society of Plastics Industry (SPI) stipulates that the digital identification code of polylactic acid is "7". Belgium has begun to use recycled polylactic acid as a pilot country. The recycling of polylactic acid is not the same as other polymers. The waste polylactic acid plastic will be collected in a special container, degraded into small molecule monomers through pyrolysis, hydrolysis and other methods, and then the monomer will be converted by the manufacturer. Lactic acid is synthesized into a polylactic acid raw material with certain properties, which will be used again in the market.
What is CPLA and TPLA?
CPLA is a Crystallized PLA,which is created for higher heat use products.
Since PLA has a low melt point, so it’s best for cold use up to around 40ºC or 105ºF. While more heat resistance is needed such as in cutlery, or lids for coffee or soup, then we use a Crystallized PolyLactic Acid with some biodegradable additives. So we get CPLA products with higher heat-resistance up to 80ºC or 176ºF.
It’s processed by applying high pressure and heat to PLA, chalk, and other biodegradable and bio-based additives. This causes the material to crystallize, resulting in a harder product that’s less susceptible to heat degradation. CPLA lids are commonly used for soup bowls and coffee cups.
TPLA means Talc-added PLA.
Talc is a kind of a natural mineral that helps PLA mold into harder materials. Usually, the two materials were combined at a ratio around 70% PLA and 30% talc.
Both CPLA and TPLA are compostable in industrial composting facilities, and generally, it takes 3 to 6 months for TPLA to compost, while 2 to 4 months for CPLA.
Both PLA and CPLA are sustainably produced and 100% biodegradable and compostable.
Post time: Feb-12-2022