A few companies market a material suitable to replace polycarbonate based on BPA: SMMA, a styrene methyl methacrylate copolymer. Marketed under names, such as Resirene CET® or NAS®, this material is free of bisphenol A and phthalates.
SMMA is available in Europe in several grades which, according to their level of rigidity and clarity, correspond to a specific kind of application (medical devices, office supplies, food boxes).
According to RESIRENE and INEOS companies, SMMA combines aesthetic qualities (high transparency and gloss) and good mechanical properties as well as high resistance to shocks (and scratches) and heat.
SMMA marketed by RESIRENE and INEOS companies meets the requirements of the European Regulation (EU) n°10/2011 and the FDA (*) Regulation for use in food contact (FDA 21 CFR 177.1830) and is compliant with USP Class VI in the USA for medical applications.
According to one of its producers, SMMA would be, from an economic perspective, a more cost-effective solution than polycarbonate because:
- SMMA is cheaper than polycarbonate;
- the energy consumption during the thermoforming of the SMMA is lower than for the PC (**) due to its lower temperature of molding by injection and due to the absence of pre-drying step of the material (pre-drying required for the PC).
For additional information: https://www.ineos-styrolution.com/Product/NAS_ID40100026.html
(*)Food and Drug Administration – USA