Measures to increase the share of renewables in heat generation, combined with increased energy efficiency provide a direct emissions reduction on the heating sector. Energy efficiency measures, as well as the role-out of sustainable heating technologies such as district heating networks have one key actor: insulation. However, state of the art insulating materials such as polyurethane or polystyrene have severe environmental drawbacks incompatible with today’s transition to the circular economy, and are the Achilles’ heel of the sector in terms of sustainability. Biobased and biodegradable polylactic acid (PLA) foam could be a promising replacement for fossil-based polymeric insulating foams. This study provides data on the mechanical behaviour of expanded PLA foam under different temperatures, which will help to assess its potential use as insulation where the foam is subject to heat.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
 Lund H. et al. 4th Generation District Heating (4GDH) Integrating smart thermal grids into future sustainable energy systems. Energy 2014:68:1–11. doi:10.1016/j.energy.2014.02.089
 Vigants E. et al. Modelling of Technological Solutions to 4th Generation DH Systems. Environmental and Climate Technologies 2017:20(1):5–23. doi:10.1515/rtuect-2017-0007
 IAL Consultants. The European Market for Thermal Insulation Products. Press Release 2013.
 EN 253:2009 District heating pipes – Preinsulated bonded pipe systems for directly buried hot water networks – Pipe assembly of steel service pipe polyurethane thermal insulation and outer casing of polyethylene.
 Dernehl C. U. Health hazards associated with polyurethane foams. Journal of Occupational Medicine 1966:8(2):59–62.
 Zapp Jr. J. A. Hazards of Isocyanates in Polyurethane Foam Plastic Production. Archives of Industrial Health 1957:15(4):324–330.
 US Department of Labor [Online]. [Accessed 19.11.2018]. Available: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/isocyanates/
 Annex XV Restriction Report – Proposal for a restriction to ECHA by BAuA. Vers 2.1 2017.
 Gong P. et al. Environmentally-friendly Polylactic Acid-based Thermal Insulation Foams Blown with Supercritical CO2. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 2018:57(15):5464–5471. doi:10.1021/acs.iecr.7b05023
 Nofar M. Park C. B. Polylactide Foams. Fundamentals Manufacturing and Applications. Elsevier 2018. doi:10.1016/C2017-0-00939-4
 Reignier J. Gendron R. Champagne M. F. Extrusion Foaming of Poly(Lactic acid) Blown with CO2: Toward 100% Green Material. Cellular Polymers 2007:26(2):83–115. doi:10.1177/026248930702600202
 Bioplastics Magazine. DYKA premieres world’s first plastic pipe system from renewably-sourced plant-based material [Online]. [Accessed 03.02.2016] Available: https://www.bioplasticsmagazine.com/en/news/meldungen/2016-02-03-DYKA-lauches-bioplastic-pipe-system.php
 Parker K. Garancher J. P. Shah S. Fernyhough A. Expanded polylactic acid – an eco-friendly alternative to polystyrene foam. Journal of Cellular Plastics 2011:47(3):233–243. doi:10.1177/0021955X11404833
 ISO 11357-2:2013 Plastics – Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) – Part 2: Determination of glass transition temperature and glass transition step height.
 Peelman N. et al. Heat resistance of new biobased polymeric materials focusing on starch cellulose PLA and PHA. Journal of Applied Polymer Science 2015:132(48): 42305. doi:10.1002/app.42305
 Auras R. Harte B. Selke S. An overview of Polylactides as Packaging Materials. Macromolecular Bioscience 2004:4(9):835–864. doi:10.1002/mabi.200400043
 Kister G. Cassanas G. Vert M. Effects of morphology conformation and configuration on the IR and Raman spectra of various poly(lactic acids)s. Polymer 1998:39(2):267–273. doi:10.1016/S0032-3861(97)00229-2
 Kister G. et al. Vibrational Analysis of Poly(L-lactic acid). Journal of Ramanan Spectroscopy 1995:26(4):307–311. doi:10.1002/jrs.1250260409
 EN ISO 844:2014 Rigid cellular plastics – Determination of compression properties.
 Weidlich I. Sensitivity analysis on the axial soil reaction due to temperature induced pipe movements. Presented at the 15th International Symposium on District Heating and Cooling Seoul South Korea 2016.
 Garlotta D. A Literature Review of Poly(Lactic Acid). Journal of Polymers and the Environment 2001:9(2):63–84. doi:10.1023/A:1020200822435