William Coggio, Ph.D.
William Coggio holds a Ph.D in Chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University. Prior to joining NatureWorks in 2016, he held advanced technical positions at 3M, Cabot and Bio-Amber. He is the author, contributor or inventor of numerous articles and patents.
PLA- Based Polyols in Urethane Coatings
NatureWorks is the world's leading producer of polylactic acid, a sustainably resourced, bio-based thermoplastic used in numerous applications such as films, fibers and rigid molded parts. It is best known as a compostable plastic replacement to PET, PP and PS in numerous applications such as hygiene products, compostable coffee pods and food packaging products. NatureWorks’ PLA is produced by the ring opening reaction of cyclic lactide with an initiator. Recently, we have extended this know-how to develop PLA polyols for use in CASE applications. Due to the composition and molecular weight of the polyols, they are amorphous and more compatible with other polyols than the typical high-molecular-weight, crystalline PLA polymers. Moreover, the polyol microstructure is further controlled by the choice of the initiator and forms polyols with multiple hydroxy groups. The secondary hydroxy groups formed by the ring opening reaction can react with isocyanates to form polyurethane networks with excellent coating properties, such as hardness, scratch and chemical resistance. We will describe the synthetic process to make the polyols and discuss the structure property relationships between the PLA structure, isocyanates and the performance of PLA polyols in urethane coatings.