KAO CORPORATION (Tokyo, JP)

A molded article selected from the group consisting of (1) a sheet or a film, (2) a thermoformed article, (3) a stretched film, wherein the molded article is made of a polyester resin composition containing a polyester resin and a polyester-based plasticizer represented by the following formula (I): R.sup.1O–CO–R.sup.2–CO–[(OR.sup.3).sub.mO–CO–R.sup.2–CO–].sub.nOR- .sup.1 (I), wherein R.sup.1 is an alkyl group having from 1 to 4 carbon atoms, R.sup.2 is an alkylene group having from 2 to 4 carbon atoms, R.sup.3 is an alkylene group having from 2 to 6 carbon atoms, m is the number of from 1 to 6, and n is the number of from 1 to 12, with proviso that all the R.sup.2’s may be identical or different, and that all the R.sup.3’s may be identical or different. The molded item in the present invention may be, for instance, suitably used, such as a sheet or film for use in various industrial applications for food, agriculture, and industries A thermoformed piece of material for use in various applications like food containers wrap items for daily sundries as well as electrical appliances for the home, industrial trays of industrial parts, and a stretched film that can be used for various purposes like wrapping materials for food wraps daily sundries, electrical appliances for the home, and various industrial films, and.

Biodegradable substances begin to degrade over the course of weeks as a result of the action of enzymes created by microorganisms found in nature. Biodegradable materials can be found in the soil, in water or in the bodies of animals , and after a few years, they disappear or more. Therefore, in recent years, utilization of the resins is being remarked from the viewpoint of increased interests in environmental-friendliness.

For example, Patent Publication 1 discloses that when a polyester-based plasticizer having a repeating unit of a divalent alcohol, terminals of which are capped with a monobasic acid and/or a monohydric alcohol, the polyester-based plasticizerhaving a total of acid value and hydroxyl value of 40 or less, is used, the polyester-based plasticizer has excellent compatibility with the polymer, whereby a resin composition having excellent water resistance and flexibility while maintainingtransparency of a lactic acid-based polymer is obtained.

In Patent Publication 2, it is reported that a resin composition having excellent flexibility and storage stability is obtained by melt-kneading a lactic acid-based polyester previously subjected to deactivation treatment of a polymerizationcatalyst with a chelating agent and/or an acidic phosphoric ester, with a plasticizer, and that a molded article having excellent heat resistance and solvent resistance is obtained by molding and crystallizing the composition.

In Patent Publication 3, an amorphous sheet made by extruding a composition of polylactic acid comprising a polylactic acid resin along with a plasticizer, an agent for crystal nucleation in a molten state is quickly quenched to form the agent that crystalnucleates, and then the extruded mix is heated until it crystallizes in a way that a sheet of polylactic acid having excellent heat resistance and printability is produced.

In addition, in Patent Publication 4, it is reported that when a molded article obtained by vacuum molding, pressure molding or vacuum pressure molding a resin composition prepared by blending an aliphatic polyester with a particular(poly)glycerol ester-based plasticizer has an appropriate softness, and is allowed to pierce though a hole or the like, the cutting edges are clean and cracking does not take place therefrom, and a plasticizer used is not eluted into water, so that themolded article does not cause bleed-out even at high temperatures, and has high heat resistance.

Patent Publication 5 discloses that a sheet made of a lactic acid-based polymer composition prepared by blending a lactic acid-based polymer with an organic crystal nucleating agent containing an aliphatic carboxylic acid amide having an amidebond, and a crystallization promoter, such as a phthalic acid derivative, an isophthalic acid derivative, an adipic acid derivative, a maleic acid derivative, a citric acid derivative, an itaconic acid derivative, an oleic acid derivative, a ricinoleicacid derivative, a phosphate ester, a hydroxypolycarboxylic acid ester, or a polyhydric alcohol ester, is treated to have a crystallinity of from 20 to 50%, and thereafter subjected to a secondary molding, thereby obtaining a thermoformed article havingexcellent heat resistance and transparency at excellent production efficiency.

Additionally to that, in Patent Publication 6, it is stated that a composition made by mixing an aliphatic polymer with specific (poly)glycerol ester-based plasticizer shows inhibition of bleed-out by the plasticizer, ensuring that the composition is suitable for use as raw materials for molding a product like a film that has excellent transparency, heat resistance, and elasticity. A stretched film that has a crystallinity ranging from 20-60 percent is described as a film.

In Patent Publication 7, in a resin composition prepared by blending a composition containing a polylactic acid resin and a flame retardant with a cellulose having a crystallinity of less than 50%, an example where an oligoester-basedplasticizer is further blended is disclosed. The above-mentioned resin composition is injected-molded to create a molded article that exhibits outstanding strength, flexibility, and resistance to impact.

Patent Publications

Patent Publication 1: Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. Hei-7-118513

Patent Publication 2: Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. Hei-10-36651

Patent Publication 3: Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2009-62410

Patent Publication 4: Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2002-60605

Patent Publication 5: WO 2006-121056

Patent Publication 6: Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2000-302956

Patent Publication 7: Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2011-153296

The present invention relates to the following [1] to [8]: [1] a molded article selected from the group consisting of (1) a sheet or a film, (2) a thermoformed article, (3) a stretched film, wherein the molded article is made of a polyesterresin composition containing a polyester resin and a polyester-based plasticizer represented by the following formula (I): R.sup.1O–CO–R.sup.2–CO–[(OR.sup.3).sub.mO–CO–R.sup.2–CO–].sub.nOR- .sup.1 (I) wherein R.sup.1 is an alkyl group having from1 to 4 carbon atoms, R.sup.2 is an alkylene group having from 2 to 4 carbon atoms, R.sup.3 is an alkylene group having from 2 to 6 carbon atoms, m is the number of from 1 to 6, and n is the number of from 1 to 12, with proviso that all the R.sup.2’s maybe identical or different, and that all the R.sup.3’s may be identical or different; [2] a method for producing a molded article as defined in the above [1], characterized in that the method includes the following step (1): step (1): cooling a sheet or afilm obtained by extruding a polyester resin composition containing a polyester resin and a polyester-based plasticizer represented by the formula (I) from a die according to an extrusion molding method to a temperature lower than a glass transitiontemperature (Tg) of the polyester resin composition, to provide a sheet or a film having a relative crystallinity of less than 80%; [3] the method for producing a molded article according to the above [2], further including the following step (2-1): step(2-1): heating a sheet or a film obtained in the step (1) to a temperature of equal to or higher than a glass transition temperature (Tg) of the polyester resin composition and lower than a melting point (Tm) of the polyester resin composition, toprovide a crystallized sheet or film having a relative crystallinity of 80% or more; [4] the method for producing a molded article according to the above [2], further including the following step (2-2): step (2-2): thermoforming a sheet obtained in thestep (1) within a temperature range of equal to or higher than a glass transition temperature (Tg) of the polyester resin composition and lower than a melting point (Tm) of the polyester resin composition, to provide a crystallized thermoformed articlehaving a relative crystallinity of 80% or more; [5] the method for producing a molded article according to the above [2], further including the following step (2-3): step (2-3): subjecting a sheet obtained in the step (1) to uniaxial stretching orbiaxial stretching within a temperature range of equal to or higher than a glass transition temperature (Tg) of the polyester resin composition and equal to or lower than a cold crystallization temperature (Tc) of the polyester resin composition, toprovide a crystallized stretched film having a relative crystallinity of 80% or more; [6] use of a molded article as defined in the above [1], in the manufacture of (1) wrapping containers selected from the group consisting of clear cases formanufactured articles selected from daily sundries, cosmetics, and household electric appliances, and transparent windows of paper boxes, or (2) stationeries selected from clear plastic holders and ID card cases; [7] use of a molded article as defined inthe above [1], in the manufacture of (1) blister packs or trays for manufactured articles selected from daily sundries, cosmetics, and household electric appliances; (2) food containers; or (3) industrial trays used in transportation or protection ofindustrial parts; and [8] use of a molded article as defined in the above [1], in the manufacture of (1) wrapping materials for manufactured articles selected from daily sundries, cosmetics, and household electric appliances; (2) industrial films, or (3)films for food wrapping.

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