English Abstract
Development of Bioplastics Used for Electronic Products and their Future
Masatoshi IJI
Nano Electronics Research Laboratories, NEC Corporation, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
Nippon Gomu Kyokaishi,(2008),81(5),181-187 General Review in Japanese


Abstract
We have developed highly functional bioplastics: polylactic acid (PLA) composites to be used in electronic products. While fully preserving its environment-friendly properties (high biomass-based component ratio and safety), we have improved PLA’s practicability, and also added values to it by endowing it with desirable new properties. A heat resistant PLA compound containing the fiber of Kenaf and other safe additives mainly made with biomass has been developed (the biomass content in the resin part: 90 %). The PLA composite began to be used in the housings of a cellular phone. Having also successfully achieved a flame-retardant PLA composite with a safe metal hydroxide as a heat absorbance and a phenol type charring agent, we now plan to expand its use for personal computer housings, etc. in near future.
Furthermore, we have developed new functional PLA composites to create new applications of bioplastics. A PLA composite that combines shape memory and recyclability has been performed by thermo-reversibly cross-linking PLA. The composite has opened up possibilities for wearable electronic equipments. Also, a highly heat-conductive PLA composite with a cross-linked carbon fiber can solve heat-release issues caused with the latest mobile electronic equipments with thin thickness. The composite has realized heat diffusion higher than that of stainless steel.



Keywords:
Bioplastic, Polylactic Acid, Kenaf, Flame-retardancy, Shape Memory Plastic, Thermally Reversible Bond, Thermal Conductivity
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