So far, the ecovio grades that have made their mark on the market are those for the extrusion sector, in other words, for producing films that can then be further processed into bags as well as mulch film. Since the packaging sector is displaying a growing interest in certified compostable plastics, BASF has now augmented its product line by new grades intended for two other significant processing technologies. Both of these products are now available in commercial quantities. They consist predominantly of renewable raw materials and lend themselves well for being dyed.
Thermoformed trays and cups can now be made with ecovio T2308. This plastic exhibits similar mechanical properties to those of amorphous PET, but it differs from this conventional thermoforming material by virtue of its compostability and its high content of renewable resources (polylactic acid). The content of ecoflex, which is BASF's compostable polyester, accounts for the fact that the material is not too stiff or too brittle. As a result, thermoformed trays and cups are not damaged during transportation and storage. The ecoflex component also ensures a balanced stiffness-to-strength ratio and sufficient low-temperature impact strength.
The processing window for ecovio T, between 80°C and 120°C, is very broad in comparison to other plastics. Processing can be carried out on conventional flat-film installations and at the processing speeds that are typical for thermoforming. Like all ecovio grades, it also complies with the stipulations for products that come into contact with food. The material is translucent and can be adequately sealed with cover films.