Published On: Sat, Oct 12th, 2013

World’s first PLA bioplastic touch screen computer from SUPLA and Kuender at K 2013,based on lactides from Corbion Purac

SUPLA, who announced plans for a 10 kT polymerization plant earlier this year, has developed optimized PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) compounds for the consumer electronics industry based on lactides from Corbion Purac. The launching application is the world’s first bioplastic touch screen computer, developed in cooperation with Kuender, an OEM/ODM for many brand customers. The high gloss housing of this computer is made from high heat PLA. Corbion Purac, the global leader in lactic acid and lactides, will showcase this computer at K 2013.

World's first PLA bioplastic touch screen computer from SUPLA and Kuender at K 2013

World's first PLA bioplastic touch screen computer from SUPLA and Kuender at K 2013

Heat resistance is one of the key challenges for biopolymers today, as this has limited their suitability for consumer electronics in the past. However, lactide monomers from Corbion Purac form the basis for improved performance PLA, and are therefore the preferred choice for SUPLA: “It takes lots of effort to develop a durable grade of PLA, but it can be done with a right choice of raw material”, said by Dr. Robin Wu, Chairman of SUPLA.

In addition to increased heat resistance, the PLA blends used for the monitor screens also bring improved impact resistance, excellent high gloss finish and stable, precise processing. This is of critical importance for the large scale consumer electronics market, which also includes applications such as mobile phones, laptops, games consoles and tablets. Kuender, a leading Taiwanese OEM/ODM of consumer electronics for many brand customers, recognized the opportunity to be among the first to bring such an innovation to market.

World's first PLA bioplastic touch screen computer from SUPLA and Kuender at K 2013

World's first PLA bioplastic touch screen computer from SUPLA and Kuender at K 2013

Kuender has been working closely with SUPLA to ensure that the blends are suitable for commercial production of consumer electronics housings, and are looking forward to bringing the world’s first bioplastic computer to market. Dr. Wen-Jeng Kuo, president of Kuender said, ”In addition to the PLA blends, we have developed techniques for the injection process. Therefore we are glad to let our customers know that we are able to provide a total solution for making green products”.

Corbion Purac’s lactide monomers are sourced from GMO free, renewable feedstocks such as sugarcane, and form the basis for high performance Poly Lactic Acid bioplastics (PLA). The resulting homopolymers have already proven to withstand boiling water, and can now boast performance characteristics to rival their oil-based counterparts. As a result, PLA can replace oil-based plastics such as PP, PS and ABS, and alleviate our dependency on fossil fuels.

Jeroen Jonker, Senior Vice President Bioplastics at Corbion Purac, is pleased with the development: “We are looking forward to showing our visitors at K 2013 this fantastic application, which is a great achievement for our partner SUPLA and a credit to Kuender for their recognition of such an innovative opportunity. In our partnership, SUPLA have focused their expertise on the electronics market and the launch of this computer is an excellent result. We anticipate that this development will be well received by our global community of sustainability-conscious consumers.”

The computer will be on display at Corbion Purac’s stand at K2013: hall 5, B22, from 16th – 23rd October in Dusseldorf, Germany. Furthermore, representatives from SUPLA and Kuender will be present at the stand to answer questions and product queries from 14:00 – 15:00 on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th October.