Perstorp presents Akestra™ - a new plastic alternative. Image Credit: Perstorp
A new co-polyester looks to usher in a new generation of plastics and become a viable alternative to polycarbonate, polystyrene and glass.
The high performance plastic AkestraTM will be presented by The Perstorp Group at the K Fair 2013 this October.
David James, Market Development Manager at Perstorp, describes how this innovation began.
Akestra came about through a strategic partnership between Perstorp and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical, Japan, original developer and producer since 2008 of those new co-polyesters in Asia. Perstorp is today the exclusive distributor of those new copolyesters for the European market.
This partnership's future ambition is to allow the joint establishment of an extremely competitive European production platform for the raw materials required.
The first notable thing about AkestraTM is its transparent glass-like appearance, which makes it perfect for a wide range of packaging design applications. These aesthetic benefits are backed up by beneficial and superior physical properties. For instance, the high heat resistance of AkestraTM makes it perfect for hot food containers. David James explains further:
Akestra has high heat resistance and is also a very transparent material. The nature of PET is that it has a relatively low heat resistance, limiting its further market penetration over other materials. So basically Akestra addresses those limitations and opens up new opportunities for thermoplastic polyester convertors.
Further benefits of the new plastic include:
- High glass transition temperature
- High strength
- Easily blended with other plastics
Furthermore, foaming processes are particularly suited to Akestra, and when combined with PET, lightweighting of packaging can be achieved.
Akestra has high heat resistance and is also a very transparent material. Image Credit: Perstorp
Not only does the new plastic possess remarkable physical properties, it is also a more sustainable solution compared to conventional materials.
Polystyrene is not that easy to recycle or reuse as part of a closed recycling loop – David James
By using recycled PET in coextrusion structure with Akestra, it allows bypassing the polystyrene heat resistance for hot fill thin wall container applications, Akestra can help to lower the overall carbon footprint of packaging when switching from PS to such RPET/Akestra structure with similar heat performance.
Perstorp is a very old company, founded over 130 years ago. We used to be much more involved in the plastic business. In fact, we used to attend the K Fair very often in the past, but we have not been present for a number of years since a number of divestment of our former plastic related businesses over the years. So it’s nice to come back to the K fair with very different things than we used to do and matching well current important up to date trends in the industry. We will also be launching a new, non-phthalate plasticizer for sensitive application, a renewable carbon source for intumescent flame retardant and present our latest development on our bioplastics Polycaprolactones, so it is a very exciting time for Perstorp.-David James