As the leader of innovative specialty copolyesters, particularly extrusion blow molding (EBM) resins, Eastman Chemical Company announces the addition of Aspira™ One polymer to its portfolio of resins.Carrying resin identification code 1 (RIC 1), Aspira One is tailored specifically for EBM processes and packaging applications such as clear handleware and large-size bottles. As a new polyethylene terephthalate (PET) polymer, it provides an optimal balance of recyclability, product performance, production efficiency and aesthetics versus alternative polyester resins available to the EBM market. Aspira™ One polymer boasts four key attributes desired by leading bottle converters and brand owners: sustainability, design flexibility, bottle strength and process efficiency on existing EBM platforms. The polymer is sustainable, as it is compatible in the PET recycle stream and therefore carries RIC 1. Aspira One received resin recognition from the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) in July 2012 for meeting the PET Bottle Critical Guidance Document protocol. Aspira™ One enables the design of unique, clear and glossy containers, such as handles, through holes and other innovative features that can only be obtained by the EBM process. For bottle performance, the material offers robust toughness and is free of bisphenol A and halogens. The crystal-clear clarity of Aspira One allows consumers to see the contents of their packages, providing valuable product differentiation and shelf appeal.
In contrast with other polyester resins for EBM, Aspira™ One is an amorphous, melt-phase produced material, offering an improved EBM experience versus alternatives. Because Aspira One pellets are not crystalline or solid-stated, they can be dried and processed at lower temperatures than other PET resins. This lowers energy usage, improves melt quality and minimizes thermal degradation of the polymer. Another feature is that crystallization of bottle flash regrind is not required, because Aspira One pellets are amorphous and thereby compatible with the regrind in a dryer setup. Finally, Aspira One does not melt fracture at high extrusion rates, giving it high clarity on all EBM platforms. “Aspira™ One polymer provides the straightforward solution leading converters and brand owners are looking for,” said Ron Salati, global market development manager, specialty plastics packaging, Eastman. “In fact, major global beverage companies are expected to use Aspira One bottles starting in 2013.”