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The growing interest in biopolymers was conveyed to Lati directly by end users and OEMs looking for a sustainable way to engineer new products.
LUCA POSCA TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE MANAGER LATI(Published on February-March 2010 – JEC Magazine #55)
As the demand for plastics derived from renewable resources grows, it is imperative for compounders such as Lati to introduce a material range featuring bioplastics.
Latigea is the brand name of a newborn family of bioresin-based compounds, still under development but already very promising. Among the matrices selected for a range of injection-mouldable thermoplastics, the range features a polymer called PLA, derived from corn starch. The new family includes compounds reinforced with natural and traditional fibres, PC- and polyester-based blends, and more. Lati’s R&D and Marketing departments have focused on some specific grades of PLA, with formulations featuring only components that ensure a very low or no environmental impact. In its range of bioplastic-based compounds, the company now offers Latigea B01-V0HF, an outstanding flame-retardant grade.
Characteristics of Latigea
Density (ISO 1183)
Notched Izod (ASTM D256-A)
Unnotched Charpy (ISO 179-1eU)
Notched Charpy (ISO 179-1eA)
Elongation at break (ISO 527)
Load at break (ISO 527)
Elastic modulus (ISO 527)
HDT (0.45 MPa) (ISO 75)
Flammability 3/1.5/0.75 mm (UL94)
GWFI 1/2 mm (IEC 695-2-12)
GWIT 1/2 mm (IEC 695-2-13)
A friendly material
This material is engineered to contain no substance that may harm human health or the environment.
The compound is fully compliant with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive and free of halogens, red phosphorous, antimony or zinc. The formula of the new flame-retardant grade contains no other plastic resin than the sustainable and decomposable PLA matrix. This increases the actual chances for the material to be considered as eco-friendly as possible, although its compostability is still under evaluation. The material’s flame behaviour is very interesting, and it has achieved very good results in terms of flammability, ignition temperature and current tracking index. The UL94 tests demonstrated a V0 behaviour at 0.8 and 1.5 mm. At 1- and 2-mm thicknesses, the compound’s glow wire ignition temperature (GWIT) is as high as 800°C and its glow wire flammability index (GWFI) shows a top value of 960°C.
The current tracking index is outstanding as well, peaking at 600 V. Mouldability is excellent, with no need for dedicated tools or out-ofthe- ordinary procedures. The material can be coloured (the natural shade of the compound is white). Its flame-retardant properties boost Latigea B01-V0HF’s behaviour close to the very best halogenated FR compounds derived from non-renewable resins such as PP, PBT and PA. These characteristics turn out to be a real asset, especially for the electrical and electronics industry where the compound can be used to mould boxes, housings, covers, etc. The thermal performance of the Latigea B01-V0HF compound is still under development but applications up to 60°C can already be engineered.