Metabolix to Present New Findings on Multifunctional Benefits of PHA Biopolymers in PVC Applications

Vinyltec 2015 Presentation Identifies Significant Performance and Economic Benefits of PHA Biopolymers as Additives for PVC

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 06, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Metabolix, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBLX), an advanced biomaterials company focused on sustainable solutions for the plastics industry, today announced that it will present its latest findings on the multifunctional benefits of bio-based PHA copolymers in a range of applications for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and wood polymer composites. The new findings will be a key part of a technical presentation, entitled “Bio-based PHA Copolymers as Multifunctional Additives for Poly Vinyl Chloride Compound,” to be delivered by Mansoor Akhthar, Metabolix application development manager – PVC, at the upcoming Vinyltec 2015 conference Oct.13-15 in Akron, Ohio.

New research is leading to the development and commercialization of PHA biopolymer technology that improves processing and performance characteristics in a range of PVC applications including flexible, semi-rigid and wood polymer composites, particularly when high levels of fillers and PVC recyclate are incorporated. Among the findings, Metabolix has shown that its PHA biopolymers – highly miscible in PVC – can be used as process aids that act as both a lubricant and fusion aid with a resulting reduction in machine torque to increase ease of processing. The use of PHA also allows the increased use of mineral fillers, wood flour or PVC recyclate with improved properties of the final parts. Another key finding is that all of these performance and processing advantages can deliver significant cost improvements.

“Our PHA biopolymers display a set of unique performance properties in PVC formulations and represent a significant innovation in the industry,” said Max Senechal, Metabolix’s vice president of strategy and commercial development. “Our PHA biopolymers offer a range of processing and performance improvements while also delivering an economic benefit to PVC converters and brand owners. We look forward to continuing to work with the industry to create new solutions for PVC applications in a diverse range of building materials.”

Metabolix has taken its new PHA materials to the market and is working closely with processors and brand owners in a range of PVC applications:

Extruded railing in PVC wood polymer composites: PHA biopolymers act as a compatibilizer and process aid to improve incorporation of wood filler, increase throughput and improve surface finish during manufacturing of PVC wood polymer composite materials. Metabolix has also shown that the use of PHA can increase the mechanical strength of the parts, as well as increase the level of wood flour to improve the sustainability profile of the final product. Specifically, Metabolix is working closely with a leading manufacturer of wood polymer railings where PHA biopolymers are being used to improve the mechanical properties and processing of its product.

PVC recyclate: PHA biopolymers can be used as both a process aid and fusion aid to increase the addition rate of PVC recyclate (post-consumer and post-industrial) in a range of PVC applications. Metabolix’s PHA biopolymers are being used as a fusion aid to enhance processing and to improve the performance properties of floor backing materials made from PVC recyclate.

Roofing: Acting as a high-molecular-weight plastifier and process aid, Metabolix’s PHA enhances PVC permanence especially in installations where oil and grease resistance is needed. Acting as a process aid and fusion promoter, Metabolix’s PHA improves incorporation of the formulation ingredients and processing.

Wire and cable: In PVC jacketing, PHA biopolymers can serve as a processing aid during extrusion to enhance output while achieving a higher quality surface finish.

Metabolix is working closely with customers to commercialize its PHA biopolymers in PVC applications such as building materials, flooring, decking and railing systems, wire and cable, tubing, roofing and films, as well as in a variety of parts using recycled or reprocessed PVC.

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Metabolix, Inc., press release, 2015-10-06.