Macro now offering PLA foam extrusion line

  • New proprietary tandem extruder design
  • PLA foam with a density of 0.07 g/cc
  • Makro at #NPE2015

Film and sheet extrusion machinery supplier Macro Engineering & Technology Inc. (Canada) has introduced a new extrusion line to produce polylactic acid (PLA) foam.

PLA foam with a density of 0.07 g/cc

The line uses tandem extruders to produce foamed PLA sheet between 1.2 and 5.0 mm thick and up to 1,270 mm wide with a foam density of 0.07 g/cc (16x expansion ratio). The sheet can be thermoformed into compostable clamshell packaging and trays used for cold food applications.

New proprietary tandem extruder design

Macro uses a proprietary new extruder design to address obstacles that are inherent to foaming PLA, namely working around the material’s low melt strength, melt crystallinity and narrow processing window. The result is uniform melt temperature distribution and reliable foaming.

Macro is actively developing new technologies for use with this extrusion line to expand the application range of foamed PLA. Recent trials at Macro’s R&D lab have shown promise for hot-fill applications using thermoformed PLA foam as an alternative to polystyrene packaging.

Technical staff will be available to discuss Macro’s foam extrusion technologies at NPE 2015.


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