What is the difference between PBAT and PLA?

I believe everyone is very interested in this topic, so let me analyze the difference between PBAT and PLA.

PBAT (polybutylene adipate terephthalate) and PLA (polylactic acid) are both biodegradable and compostable plastics that are becoming increasingly popular as alternatives to traditional petroleum-based plastics. However, they have some key differences that make them different from each other.

First of all, apart from the well-known ingredients:

PBAT: petroleum-based degradable material; PLA: starch-based degradable material;

They also differ greatly in performance: PBAT is flexible yet tough, making it suitable for a wide range of applications from food packaging to biodegradable shopping bags. PLA, on the other hand, is hard and brittle, making it better suited for applications where stiffness and dimensional stability are important, such as cutlery, straws and electronics packaging.

Biodegradability and Compostability: Both PBAT and PLA are biodegradable and compostable, but PBAT degrades faster compared to PLA, which means it breaks down faster in the environment.

Cost: PBAT is more expensive to produce than traditional petroleum-based plastics, and PLA is generally more expensive to produce than PBAT.

Different density:

Pbat:The density of pbat is between 1.18g/ml~1.3g/ml.

Pla:pbat density 1.25-1.28g/cm.

Different characteristics:

Pbat:pbat has the characteristics of both PBA and PBT, including good ductility and elongation at break, as well as good heat resistance and impact performance; in addition, it also has excellent biodegradability

Pla:Pla has good thermal stability, processing temperature is 170~230℃, and has good solvent resistance. It can be processed in a variety of ways, such as extrusion, spinning, biaxial stretching, and injection blow molding. In addition to being biodegradable, products made of pla have good biocompatibility, gloss, transparency, feel and heat resistance.

Item Starch-based plastic PLA PHA PBS/PBSA PBAT
Heat resistance lower higher high high high
Film forming properties lower Low better better good
Hardness lower high Low lower Low
Mechanical strength Moderate higher high high high
Hydrolysis resistance Moderate Low Low high high
Transparency Low high high Low Low
Price Low lower high higher higher


In summary, both PBAT and PLA have unique advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between them will depend on the specific requirements of the application. As the world becomes increasingly aware of the impact of single-use plastics on the environment, demand for biodegradable and compostable alternatives continues to grow. Let’s build a greener world with Unilong bioplastic compounds!

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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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