What Is Polyglycolide

Polyglycolide (PGA), also known as polyglycolic acid, polyglycolide, is a linear aliphatic polyester polymerized from glycolic acid, with high crystallinity. PGA (Polyglycolide) has excellent biodegradability, biocompatibility, heat resistance, gas resistance and mechanical strength. It is a synthetic polymer material with good biodegradability and biocompatibility. It is different from traditional stable polymer materials such as plastics and rubber. PGA (Polyglycolide) as a material is gradually degraded after a certain time, and eventually becomes water and carbon dioxide harmless to human body, animals and plants and the natural environment, so it can be used in medical, packaging, textile, disposable health products and other fields.

At present, the use of degradable plastic alternatives to solve “white pollution” has become a global consensus. PGA is a kind of aliphatic polyester polymer material with low carbon number, complete decomposition of ester structure and the fastest degradation rate.

What are the characteristics of PGA?

1.Full degradability and good biocompatibility

PGA is a fully biodegradable material, and its degradation conditions are mild. Under the action of water and microorganisms, PGA can achieve rapid degradation in natural environment, and the final degradation products are carbon dioxide and water. In addition, PGA can also be degraded in seawater, and its degradation products are harmless to the human body and the environment.

Because of its good degradation and harmless degradation products, PGA can be used for industrial or household compost, and the degradation rate of PGA industrial compost is similar to that of cellulose, which can be completely degraded after 120 days. In addition, the degradation performance of PGA in seawater was excellent, and the degradation rate was equivalent to that of cellulose at 28 days, reaching 75.3%.

In addition, PGA is also an ideal biodegradation inducer, and PGA is often used in combination with other materials to obtain excellent overall properties. For example, the primary straw prepared by blending PGA with PLA modified materials not only has the characteristics of water resistance, oil resistance and high temperature resistance, but also has better degradation performance than pure PLA products.

PGA has good biocompatibility and can be degraded into water and carbon dioxide in the human body, so it is widely used in medical and surgical sutures, fracture internal fixation, tissue engineering repair materials and drug controlled release systems, etc. It is an important branch of current biomedical polymers.

2.High mechanical strength

PGA has high mechanical strength, and its mechanical properties are superior to common general purpose plastics and other degradable plastics, and are comparable to engineering plastics. PGA has a high crystallinity (45%~55%), and its mechanical properties are close to engineering plastics such as ABS, which is better than some other degradable plastics.

Therefore, PGA can be used with a variety of other polymer materials for extrusion and injection molding, and can be blended with other resins to prepare polymer alloy materials, and excellent mechanical properties contribute to reduction.

3.High barrier

PGA material has good vapor/oxygen barrier properties, is one of the materials with good comprehensive barrier properties, and its water vapor barrier performance is 100 times higher than that of PLA, which is similar to PE material.

In view of the excellent barrier properties of PGA, PGA can be widely used in fresh packaging, bottle materials and other fields. For example, the application of PGA to degradable agricultural film can make up for the performance defects of traditional degradable materials such as PLA and PBAT. In addition to the good thermal insulation and moisturizing effect of this PGA agricultural film, the agricultural film can be rapidly degraded in the soil, so it will not pollute the soil, which greatly solves the environmental protection problem in the agricultural production process.

PGA can be used as a barrier layer of carbon dioxide and oxygen, and its barrier ability to carbon dioxide and oxygen is 1000 times higher than PET polyester. The application of this resin is expected to enable manufacturers of carbonated beverages and beer bottles to reduce the amount of PET polyester used by more than 20%, and PGA can be rapidly degraded during the recycling process without impeding the recycling of PET polyester.

In addition, the combination of PGA and PLA and other traditional biodegradable materials can effectively improve the barrier performance and degradation performance of composite materials, which not only solves the problem of poor barrier performance of PLA and other traditional degradable materials products, but also retains the full biodegradability of products, and its market application prospects are broad.

The application of PGA mainly manifests in two aspects: biomedicine and ecology.

The biomedical applications of PGA are mainly in medical sutures, drug controlled release carriers, fracture fixation materials, tissue engineering scaffolds and suture reinforcement materials.

The ecological application of PGA is to replace the biostable general-purpose plastics widely used in the plastics industry as fully biodegradable plastics that are beneficial to the environment. PGA is mainly used as a slow release system to control the release rate of herbicides.

The most obvious advantage of using PGA agricultural film is that it will not cause environmental pollution like PE and PVC, which are widely used now, and this film can automatically degrade after several years of use, and will not pollute land and water. PGA can also be used as forest wood, aquatic materials and soil, desert afforestation water retention materials.

PGA (Polyglycolide) as an excellent performance of degradable products raw materials, its market demand is expanding under the promotion of policy. Stimulated by the growth of market demand, PGA (Polyglycolide) industry continues to develop, especially in the past two years, with large enterprises involved in the PGA production field, planning and construction of large-scale production bases, the future PGA (Polyglycolide) industry or will enter a period of rapid development of industrialization.

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Unilong®️ Group specializes in the research, development, production and operation of biological materials and green solvents. It is a high-tech enterprise integrating the research, development and production of new environmentally friendly and degradable materials.

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