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Most of the known biodegradable thermoplastic materials are either based on hydrocarbon sources, or based on natural raw materials (monomers) or even natural polymers, such as cellulose, starch, polylactic acid, keratin, and the like. These natural raw materials are, more or less intrinsically, biodegradable. Furthermore, they have the advantage that they originate from renewable sources and will therefore always be available. Natural polymers are, however, generally not thermoplastic. In order to achieve that property, the materials are typically processed in combination with a plasticizer. Of course, the biodegradable properties of a suitable plasticizer are to be considered in its selection.
The invention provides a material which is biodegradable and has good thermoplastic and mechanical properties, which material is highly compatible with biodegradable plasticizers.
Suitable applications of the material include coatings, films, packaging materials, carrier materials and construction materials.
The object can be achieved by incorporating a specific clay into a biodegradable thermoplastic material. Accordingly, the invention relates to a biodegradable, thermoplastic material comprising a natural polymer, a plasticizer and a clay having a layered structure and a cation exchange capacity of from 30 to 250 milliequivalents per 100 gram.