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11-09-2015

Mitsubishi and Sharp Win Bioplastics Award 2015

In a world first, a bio-based engineering plastic is being used in the front panel of a smartphone (figure: Sharp)

This year the Bioplastics Award was again given to two companies, albeit for one new development: Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. and Sharp Corp. (Japan) jointly received the prize for the development of the front panel of Sharp’s new smartphone made from Mitsubishi’s bio-based engineering plastic Durabio. In a world first, a bio-based engineering plastic is being used in the front panel of a smartphone.

Durabio is a bio-based engineering plastic made from plant-derived isosorbide. This high-performance material offers greater resistance to impact, heat, and weather than conventional engineering plastics. In addition, it has excellent transparency and low optical distortion.

The panel of judges singled out this application as the first instance of a biobased engineering plastic successfully replacing polycarbonate in a technical application. The development captivates through its high profile and the potentially huge field of applications for a biopolymer that also overcomes one of the big problems of incumbent technology – impact resistance. In addition to being biobased, it also features superior properties.

The prize, a 3D-printed trophy from different PLA/PHA based compounds, was awarded by bioplastics Magazine to the winning companies on November 5th, 2015 during the 10th European Bioplastics Conference in Berlin, Germany.

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