Dutch bioplastics specialist Helian Polymers BV has teamed up with South Korea-based CJ CheilJedang Bio (CJ Bio), a business unit of CJ CheilJedang, to develop and produce biodegradable PHA-based 3D printing filament.
Helian Polymers, a trading company in additives and colour concentrates, with an additional focus on bioplastics, was also the driving force behind the founding of 3D printing filament producer colorFabb. Although colorFabb became an independent company in 2015, the ties between the two companies have remained very close.
As the current momentum for more sustainable materials gains strength, Helian Polymers has chosen to further step up its efforts in the biobased and biodegradable materials space, amongst others, by developing bespoke applications for customers. As a result of its close relationship with colorFabb, the company is perfectly positioned to develop customised, high-value PHA-based 3D filaments and successfully launch this on the market.
The collaboration with CJ Bio follows a long search for a partner and material that could meet the requirements for a 100% PHA 3D printing filament.CJ Bio's focus on PHA materials are a perfect fit for Helian Polymers' activities in this area.
The flexible and amorphous PHA produced by CJ Bio is tuneable, not only enabling different grades with different mechanical properties to be achieved but also well-known challenges, such as the brittleness and shrinkage (due to its high crystallinity) associated with PHA, to be overcome. The company has been active in the development of bio-based chemicals and bioplastics since 2010 and views PHA as one of the key solutions to solve global environmental issues. The company is also the only one to produce amorphous PHA, which offers softer and rubbery features and transparency. CJ BIO believes Working in close collaboration with CJ Bio and colorFabb, Helian Polymers, plans to launch an entire portfolio of high added-value PHA-based filaments with different properties under the brand name PHAradox.
Helian Polymers and CJ Bio say this is just the start: both are looking forward to further expanding the partnership in the future to fulfill their commitment to the circular economy.