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Mineral Additives for Biopolymers & Biodegradable polymers


Minerals have been used to modify properties in conventional plastics for decades and Imerys is using its knowledge in this field to lead the way in how to marry mineral science with this evolving segment of polymer technology, helping to enhance physical properties and improve cost effectiveness. This is allowing these bio-based polymers to match or exceed the performance of the more traditionally used polymers.


Minerals are inherently biocompatible and their addition to biopolymers can help to reduce the carbon footprint of the final product.


Increased Tensile Strength

The addition of a fine, high aspect ratio mica (Mu 101) into an injection moulded corn starch-based Polylactic Acid (PLA) results in an improvement in the tensile strength.


Improved Flexural Modulus

Both mica (Mu 101) and an engineered calcium carbonate (Supercoat®) can be used to improve flexural modulus in PLA.



Tensile Properties & Flexural Modulus


Improved Properties in Film

A popular use of biopolymers is in film where it can replace LLDPE.


The addition of Supercoat® in a fully biodegradable and compostable modified polyester improves both the processing and tear strength.


Bubble Temperature & Elmendorf tear Strength


Advantages in Biodegradable Film

The incorporation of Supercoat® gives:

BulletFaster cooling, increased throughputs and increased productivity
BulletIncreased tear strength and impact strength
BulletThe ability to down-gauge films and maintain properties


Advantages in PLA


BulletImproved dimensional stability

BulletImproved tensile strength

BulletIncreased flexural modulus





BulletDimensional stability

BulletIncreased flexural modulus


Carbon Footprint & Economics

Mineral addition offers a major benefit by helping to reduce the carbon footprint of the final product. Minerals generally have a relatively low associated processing energy compared to the polymer. This means that they make a significant contribution to reducing the overall environmental impact.


CO2 Footprint


Mineral addition can also help reduce the cost of the final article depending on the polymer and the mineral used. However, they can often help in balancing the economics of replacing a conventional plastic with a biocomposite.


Product Related Literature

PDF fileMineral Additives for Biopolymers & Biodegradable Polymers [1.39MB]


For detailed formulation advice please contact us

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