Controversy surrounds the use of plastic products, primarily due to their impact on the environment. Fortunately, bio-based plastics offers a solution by using sustainable resources as starting materials. Our team addressed the task of processing and conducting research on various bio-based plastics that were supplied by an industrial partner and comparing the bio-based plastics to control materials from petrochemical sources. Overall, the goal was to determine which bio-based resin would be the most suitable for use in consumer packaging products. Thermal, mechanical, and chemical properties were analyzed. The control resins used were: Formolene 2610A PP, Ineos Olefins & Polymers PP, and Alathon M5370 HDPE. The bio-based plastics were: Biogrades C5508 and C9550, Terralene PP3509, Terralene HD3505, Terratek SC50 and Terratek BD4015. Samples were injection molded to produce samples for further testing. The resins underwent thermal testing by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) to determine key thermal transitions and material degradation temperatures to compare control resins to bio-based plastics. Mechanical testing included tensile testing, (following ASTM D638) and Izod impact testing (following ASTM D256). Chemical compatibility tests were conducted (following a modified ASTM D543 procedure) with four typical household cleaners to determine the feasibility of the bio-based plastics for practical use. Mechanical data showed the bio-based plastics had overall lower strength than the controls. The Izod impact results of Terralene HD and Terralene PP were similar to that of HDPE and the PP controls. Additionally, the bio-based plastics demonstrated good compatibility to the household cleaners tested.
Jones, Alec; Bicknell, Shelby; Gordon, Luke; Mamerow, Justin; and Norton, Jeanne H., "Comparison of Bioplastics with Conventional Thermoplastics for Consumer Applications" (2019). Posters. 30.