BASF's Styrolux® HS 70, the company's styrene butadiene copolymer (SBC) unveiled at Germany's K 2007 plastics exhibition, has entered into its first serial productions in Europe by AXIAL, a leading Italian shrink film manufacturer. The main reason behind AXIAL to produce the new film material was its optimized shrinkage behavior in comparison to the commercially available SBC/PS blends. According to claims mad eby company, films made of the Styrolux® HS 70 can reach final shrinkage values of up to 80%, which allows containers having a wide array of shapes to be tightly sleeve-wrapped. Accordingly, AXIAL set underway the production of shrink films made of BASF's SBC (styrene butadiene copolymer), and is distributing the material to the main converters, not only in Italy. For instance, Sutter, an Italian producer of cleaning products, is using them to sleeve-wrap its bottles.
Marco Ruspa, technical manager at AXIAL explains, "Our customer Sutter, which so far had shrink-wrapped its bottles with a PET shrink film, is now introducing our film made of Styrolux® HS 70. This eliminates the so-called "smile effect" - folding, for example, at the neck of the bottle - that up to now had been encountered at the transition from large radii to small radii in objects having a complex geometry." Further, it claims that the lightweight material yields about 30% more film per kilogram of plastic than is the case with PVC or PET. Besides, unlike PET, Styrolux HS 70 does not require any pre-drying during processing, which means that this material is an energy-efficient and cost-effective alternative. For making shrink films, this SBC is said to yield a combination of excellent transparency and high gloss in conjunction with greater stiffness and toughness.