US-based RTP claims its new line of glass fibre-reinforced PLA compounds provide greater strength, stiffness and thermal performance than unmodified PLA. The compounds are part of RTP's range of engineered bioplastic compounds made using resins derived from renewable resources. Unmodified PLA suffers from performance limitations in terms of mechanical and thermal properties, says RTP. "Our new glass fibre reinforced PLA compounds enhance the strength and temperature performance of PLA, making it possible for PLA to be considered for much broader use," said Will Taber, business manager for emerging technologies. The grades have glass fibre loadings of between 10 and 40%. The 30% glass fibre reinforced PLA grade has a tensile strength of 16,500psi (114 MPa), flexural modulus of 1,630,000 psi (11,239 MPa), and heat deflection temperature (HDT) of 320ºF at 66 psi (160ºC at 455 kPa). In comparison with unmodified PLA, the compound has nearly twice the tensile strength and its HDT has increased by nearly 200ºF (93ºC), says the company.