Material PCL - Polycaprolactone
Polycaprolactone is a biodegradable thermoplastic polymer derived from the chemical synthesis of crude oil. Although not produced from renewable raw materials, it is fully biodegradable.

Polycaprolactone has good water, oil, solvent and chlorine resistance. It has a low melting-point (58-60 °C) and low viscosity, and it is easy to process.

It is used mainly in thermoplastic polyurethanes, resins for surface coatings, adhesives and synthetic leather and fabrics. It also serves to make stiffeners for shoes and orthopedic splints, and fully biodegradable compostable bags, sutures, and fibres.
Category Biopolymers
References Solvay Caprolactones (CAPAŽ)
Union Carbide Corp. (Tone)
Environmen- tal notes Disposal: Fully biodegradable.
The low melting-point makes the material suited for composting as a means of disposal, due to the temperature obtained during composting routinely exceeding 60 °C.

Degradation time is very short. In Sweden there has been an attempt to produce PCL bags, but they degraded before reaching the customers.
Additional Info Polycaprolactone is often mixed with starch to obtain a good biodegradable material at a low price (~20 DKK/kg lower than other aliphatic polyesters).
The mix has been successefully used for making trash bags in Korea (Yukong Company).
Photo Thomas Nissen (Computer graphics)
Copyright © 1996-2003 Torben Lenau
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