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Plastics | Soy New Uses


Corporate sustainability initiatives and consumer demand for safe products are driving the development of soy technologies to replace petrochemicals and additives used in plastics with soy derivatives. Think Thermoplastics Technology developed with USB support is being used to combine soy with polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) resins. Non-toxic, non-hazardous epoxidized soybean oil is available as a cost-effective secondary heat stabilizer and a co-plasticizer in flexible polyvinylchloride (PVC) applications. It can also serve as an acid scavenger; a pigment dispersion agent; a monomer compatibilizer and a chemical intermediate. Applications range from soy-based inks, agricultural chemicals and butyl rubber, to food packaging, medical devices and equipment (IV bags), children’s toys, vinyl sheet goods, and sealants.Rubber duck Soy-based plasticizers are available for use as a replacement for phthalate plasticizers. Olefin-based soy composites can be used with polypropylene resins in injection molded parts. Future soy-based plastic applications could include replacing sheet molded compound in exterior auto parts. Research continues on ways to combine soy with other resins such as nylon, polycarbonate and ABS. Polymerization technology has been developed to product thermoplastic elastomers based on soybean oil.

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