The new biomass plastic uses only PLA as its base plastic constituent. Higher levels of plant-derived PLA can compromise the flame-retardant properties and the flexibility of the material and make the plastic susceptible to moisture-induced degradation. However, the use of a combination of several additives in the new material has delivered better flame-retardant performance than the earlier plastic, while inhibiting degradation. The company has also developed a biomass plastic material based on wood-sourced cellulose which is incorporated at 40% by weight to produce components which it claims will be the first of their kind in the copier and printer industry.
Fuji Xerox’s alloy technology combines cellulose and petroleum-based materials such as ABS to produce a plastic with the flexibility and fluidity required for injection moulding, as well as strength to withstand impacts. In particular, the company says that the new material’s weld strength is greater than that of petroleum-based ABS resin. The material has a flame-retardant rating of V-2. Both materials have been awarded “BiomassPla” accreditation by the Japan Biomass Plastics Association.