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What industries can polylactic acid be used in?

Oct 18, 2018

Automotive field

Japan Toray Corporation has developed a vehicle foot pad and a spare tire cover with high-performance PLA fiber as its main component in combination with PLA resin modification technology, fiber manufacturing technology and dyeing processing technology. The spare tire cover has been used on the fully improved compact car "Raum" launched by Toyota Motor Corporation in 2003. After the development of the foot pad and spare tire cover, Toray has developed PLA products for other automotive parts for doors, rims, saddles and ceiling materials.


The unique harmless properties of polylactic acid make polylactic acid unique in the field of disposable articles such as disposable tableware and food packaging materials. Its ability to fully biodegrade is also in line with the high environmental requirements of countries around the world, especially the European Union, the United States and Japan. However, disposable tableware processed with polylactic acid raw materials has defects such as temperature resistance and oil resistance. In this way, the function of the machine is greatly reduced, and the tableware is deformed and the material becomes brittle during transportation, resulting in a large number of defective products. However, after the development of technology, the market has been modified by PLA, which can effectively overcome the shortcomings of the original particles, and some even heat-resistant temperatures of up to 120 degrees, can be used as microwave oven materials.

Electronic field

In order to save oil resources and reduce the global warming effect, and further expand the application field of polylactic acid manufactured from renewable biological resources, many companies in Japan have conducted in-depth research on the application of PLA in the field of electronic appliances and achieved remarkable results.

Japan NEC company laptop parts materials

Japan's NEC Corporation has developed a high-performance PLA/KENAF composite material, which is a modified PLA that improves the impact resistance, heat resistance, rigidity and flame retardancy of PLA. Applied to the "LaVie T" laptop unit sold in September 2004, it was further promoted to "LaVie TW, VersaPro" computer parts in 2005.

Japan's Fujitsu's notebook computer case material

In 2002, Fujitsu's "FMV-BIBLO NB" series of notebook computers in the infrared receiving part of the company adopted a pure polylactic acid fitting of mass 0.2. In the case of Fujitsu's spring notebook "FMV-BIBLO NB80K" in 2005, PLA/PC alloys jointly developed by Japan Fujitsu, Japan Fujitsu Research Institute and Japan Toray Co., Ltd. were used. 600G, PLA content is about 50%. Compared with petroleum-based resins, only one case can save about 1L. In terms of carbon dioxide emissions over the life of the product, the recycled resin can be reduced by about 15% compared to existing resins. Nearly 93% of Fujitsu's latest notebooks use PLA resin.

Mobile phone parts and case materials

In April 2005, NTT DoCoMo and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications prototyped a mobile phone with PLA in the chassis. The prototype has 22GPLA resin in its 140G capacity. In May 2005, NTT DoCoMo used PLA resin in one button of the "premini-IIS" mobile phone sold in the market. In 2006, Fujitsu, Fujitsu Research Institute and Toray jointly developed a PLA/PC alloy with an impact resistance equivalent to 1.5 times that of PLA, and was used for components such as mobile phone cases.

Japan Sony Corporation DVD DVD Case Material

The front panel of the "MVP-NS999ES" type DVD player marketed by SONY in Japan was made of PLA material. The company and Mitsubishi resin further developed an inorganic flame retardant PLA material, in which the PLA content is about 60%. The material was adopted on the front panel of the "DVP-NS955V" and "DVP-NS975V" DVD players that were launched in the fall of 2004. The strength of the modified PLA is comparable to that of the ABS resin. At the same time, by changing the blending additives and processing conditions, a general injection molding machine can be used, and the molding efficiency is the same as that of ordinary plastic.

CD disc

In September 2003, Sanyo Mavic Mcdia and Mitsui Chemicals jointly developed a music CD, VCD and CD-ROM disc "MildDisc" made of PLA as the base material. It is said that it is difficult to produce 10 CD discs with one corn cob. The company has developed a high-speed and precise transfer CD model technology. Through strict mold temperature adjustment and ionic agent improvement, a polylactic acid CD disc with a slow curing speed is produced. The use of biodegradable resins can solve the environmental pollution caused by the disposal of existing CD discs. PLA consumes less energy when burned than PC burns, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions. If landfill is used, PLA can biodegrade rapidly in 2-5 years, while PC remains semi-permanently in the soil.

Fujitsu's LSI packaging tape

In February 2005, Fujitsu and the Fujitsu Research Institute jointly developed the LS packaging tape for mobile phones using PLA as a raw material. The life cycle evaluation of the product shows that the total CO2 emissions are reduced by 11% during the cycle and the energy consumption during manufacturing is 18% less. After improving the PLA strength and antistatic and dimensional stability, the tear strength and compressive strength are more than twice that of the PC preparation material, the tensile strength is about 1.5 times, the folding strength is nearly 2 times, the impact strength and peeling. The strength also meets the performance requirements of the product.

Biomedical field

The biomedical industry is the earliest application area for polylactic acid. Polylactic acid is highly safe to the human body and can be absorbed by tissues. In addition to its excellent physical and mechanical properties, it can also be used in biomedical fields, such as disposable infusion tools, disposable surgical sutures, drug-relieving packaging agents, and artificial fractures. Internal fixation materials, tissue repair materials, artificial skin, etc. High molecular weight polylactic acid has very high mechanical properties and has been used as a substitute for stainless steel in Europe and the United States. It is widely used as a new type of orthopedic internal fixation material such as bone nails and bone plates, which can be absorbed and metabolized by the human body. The patient was spared the pain of a second surgery. Its high added value of technology is a polymer material for the development of the medical industry.