Ingeo is the trademark name for NatureWorks LLC’s synthetic fiber made from corn.
The process to create Ingeo makes use of the carbon naturally stored in plants by photosynthesis. Plant starches are broken down into sugars. The carbon and other elements in these natural sugars are then used to make a biopolymer through a process of simple fermentation and separation. The resulting resin, called Ingeo biopolymer (polylactic acid (PLA)), can then be injection molded into plastics goods, extruded for film applications, thermoformed into packaging, or extruded for use in textiles applications.
PLA is more resistant to ultraviolet light than most other synthetics. It has relatively low flammability and smoke generation. Because it is more hydrophilic than common polyester fibers, when blended with cotton and wool, the biopolymer results in lighter garments that wick moisture away from the skin.
it is a versatile material. Applications can be clear, opaque, flexible, or rigid.
The unique blend of physical properties of Ingeo™ biopolymer makes it well suited for a broad range of packaging applications including high-value films, rigid thermoformed food and beverage containers, coated papers and boards and other packaging applications. Similar to polystyrene, its exhibits tensile strength and modulus comparable to hydrocarbon-based thermoplastics. Much like polyester, it resists grease and oil, and offers flavor and odor barrier. Ingeo provides heat sealability at temperatures equivalent to polyolefin sealant resins.
Ingeo™ biopolymers are already proving themselves in success commercial applications in the areas of fiber and nonwovens, films, extruded and thermoformed containers, and extrusion and emulsion coatings. Ingeo™ biopolymer is a natural fit for many applications currently using polyester, polyolefins, polystyrene and cellulosics.