Rilsan® PA 11 BMNO

What is it?

Long-Chain Polyamides (PA) are a family of engineering thermoplastics commonly used in injection applications and are selected for their high performance compared with short chain polyamides (PA6 / PA6.6). This polyamide 11 (PA11) is derived 100% from castor oil which is sourced from the castor bean plant. This plant grows in marginal soils, (almost exclusively in India). The beans are crushed to extract the natural oil which is then refined and polymerized. The remaining organic material is used as a natural fertilizer. This natural grade contains no additives and is specially designed for food contact application.

Material properties

Values below are obtained after conditioning (15 days at 23°C; 50% RH).
 

  • Tensile Modulus [MPa] 1280

  • Yield Strength [MPa]   41

  • Yield strain [%]  5

  • Charpy Notched Impact Strength, +23°C  [kJ/m2 ]  9

  • Charpy Notched Impact Strength, -30°C  [kJ/m2 ]  4

  • Density [kg/m3]  1030

  • Melt Volume-Flow Rate [cm3/10min] 11

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Technical benefits

Polyamide 11 is a tough thermoplastic with very good thermal and chemical resistance. Compared with PA6 and PA66, PA11 is characterized by its higher dimensional stability, lighter weight, and better impact resistance, especially at low temperatures. The polyamide 11 can also be formulated and coloured to develop tailored materials.

Look and feel

The material is chemically similar to fossil-based polyamide and has a similar look and feel. It feels warmer than other polymers because of its inherent self-lubricating property.

Environmental benefits

The material is derived from 100% renewable carbon, according to ASTM D 6866. It has a 46% lower environmental impact than polyamide 12 (similar polymer, fossil-based), according to an LCA analysis. The castor bean is cultivated in marginal soils where little else can grow; it is very resistant to drought, does not compete with food crops, and does not cause deforestation. Arkema is one of the founding members of the Pragati initiative, enabling since 2016 sustainable castor crop production. The polyamide can be recycled in the same way as other thermoplastics.

Applications

This grade is specifically made for food applications and food packaging, but PA11 can also be found in consumer goods, electronics, toys, sports, and lifestyle markets. This material is historically used in the automotive, aerospace, and oil and gas industries. Grades approved for medical use are available.

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Why we chose this material 

We like this material because it is a high-performance engineering plastic that can readily replace many fossil-fuel-based materials (especially polyamides) in a wide range of applications.

Why you should consider this material

  • You need a bio-based material that does not compete with food production.

  • You need a tough and impact-resistant material with high chemical resistance, available for food contact.

  • You need an established material suitable for many applications.

About the manufacturer

Arkema is a leader in high-performance polymers and is the world’s largest processor of castor oil. Arkema production of  Rilsan® polyamide 11 started in 1947 in France.
The company offers a wide array of natural, pigmented, filled, plasticized, and alloyed grades. Their comprehensive portfolio of polyamides also includes high temperature and transparent grades.