Currently absolute majority of PLA being used around the world on 3D filaments is Ingeo PLA from NatureWorks, a subsidiary company of Cargill in US.
PLA(Poly Lactic Acid) is made from plant starch and certified by all known global standards such as DIN Certco, OK Compost, AS4736, ASTM D6400 etc. PLA products displays similar mechanical properties as conventional plastics (PP, PS) at room temperature but when buried in a specific compost condition, will completely biodegrade into water, carbon dioxide and biomass within 3-4 months. During this biodegradation process or even when incinerated through conventional method, PLA releases no harmful gases such as dioxin or environmental hormones. For this reason, PLA is considered environment friendly and being used widely on food containers, utensils, drink cups and baby products.
Everyone at TLC Korea and Seoryong has been working on the improvement of PLA's weakness for the last 10 years and currently supplying injection and thermoforming companies, who then supply all the major retail chains in Korea.
TLC Korea is NatureWorks' partner in Korea with its own formulas and compounding facilities to produce resins for specific purposes and Seoryong is in charge of filament extrusion.
In the second half of 2013, TLC began R&D on 3D printing filaments at the request of NatureWorks for good quality and price competitive PLA resins. It was successfully completed in early this year and the filaments were first introduced at an exhibition, hosted by NatureWorks in Orlando US in February. Since then, NatureWorks carried out series of test printing with our sample filaments and in July this year, NatureWorks has approved TLC Korea and Seoryong as their very first certified PLA filament producer in Asia. We believe we are still the only certified 3D filament producer in Asia including China and Korea.
Many Chinese filament producers add Talc(rock powder) in their resins as an inorganic filler and although it may not affect printing itself, printed objects can become fragile along with diminished mechanical strength from strong moisture absorbing property of Talc.
Talc has high density, which in turn, will increase density of filaments. High density means more weight and 10-15% less in length of filaments per 1Kg and hence the amount of printing.
Our ultimate goal is to reduce and stabilize prices of PLA filaments in Korea and overseas, which is extremely expensive presently and to continuously improve our manufacturing process to stay price competitive against influx of filaments from China. But more importantly, our concern lies with the increasingly deteriorating environment. PLA is truly environment friendly being made from renewable plant sources.
TLC Korea is very environment conscientious and has been persisting solely on environment friendly materials for a long time and recycled PLA is being used on our filament spools even at the higher cost. TLC will continue to uphold its commitment to the improvement of environment.
TLC Korea promises to continually offer filaments of more variety, better quality and cheaper prices, based on our extensive experience with PLA.
Lower is better for
safety and control
Sharp melting behavior
Vapor or oder in
Low or no emissions,
smell small particulate
Very low emissions
Studies show lower
ㆍStrong negative odor
ㆍHigher particulate count
Ideallynot required. IP
Does not require heated
Opportunity to leverage
ㆍRequired to avoid ㆍwarping while producing ㆍlarger parts