Ok, so I’m late posting some of these news that were announced last month as I had to report (and analyze) these first at Tecnon OrbiChem’s Bio-materials newsletter.
Here is another interesting development for Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation’s (MCC) bio-based engineering plastic DURABIO, this time for the front panel of a new smartphone, the AQUOS Crystal 2, being sold by Sharp Corporation. The companies claim this is the first smartphone that uses bio-based engineering plastic. Most front panels of smartphones are made of glass hence the susceptibility to cracking. Manufacturers have considered polycarbonate and other plastics because of their light weight and increased durability, but while some traditionally-available plastics offered excellent optical properties, they are still prone to cracking upon impact. Others that are impact-resistant tended to have poor optical properties.
MCC’s DURABIO (made from starch-based isosorbide) reportedly offers higher resistance to impact, heat, and weather than conventional engineering plastics. In addition, it has excellent transparency and low optical distortion. I have been reporting on MCC’s DURABIO plastic for several times now at the Bio-materials newsletter. The company has expanded its capacity to accommodate growing applications for the bioplastic. Roquette has been supplying MCC with the isosorbide.