A new nucleating agent for injection molded high-density polyethylene (HDPE) applications - Hyperform HPN 210 M, has been unveiled by Milliken & Company. This new technology features a unique crystalline orientation that improves the mechanical performance of HDPE to levels approaching those of polypropylene (PP) impact copolymers. Hyperform gives molders attractive new processing options for packaging and material handling applications and underscores Milliken's investment in ongoing research to benefit customers worldwide. The new additive - which specifically targets material handling applications such as waste containers, totes, crates and pallets - is the first in a family of next-generation nucleators that Milliken is developing.
"Nucleating injection molded polyethylene has been an ongoing challenge throughout the industry that we've now addressed," said Reed Walker, business development and marketing manager for Polyethylene Additives at Milliken. "With our new Hyperform HPN 210 M nucleating agent we are enabling injection molders to expand the performance space of high-density polyethylene and linear low-density polyethylene."
Delivering Multiple Benefits to Molders
HDPE using Hyperform offers molders of packaging and material handling products a unique combination of benefits. Testing done according to the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM D790-00) showed increased stiffness (modulus) of up to 50 percent vs. standard HDPE. This stiffness can enable thinner-wall designs, contributing to weight reductions of the final part. Furthermore, Hyperform improves HDPE's heat resistance, enabling it to be molded into a wide range of products where PP is already commonly used. HDPE with Hyperform boosts heat distortion temperatures by 10 - 40°C, as determined by the ASTM D648-07 test.
Hyperform also improves the processing benefits of HDPE, including higher productivity due to shorter cooling times. The new nucleator's unique ability to create lamellar crystal orientation of PE in the polymer flow (or machine) direction aids the reduction in shrinkage. Control of shrinkage and warpage contributes to an improvement in the overall quality of large, complex parts, opening the window for PE to become a potential material of choice in molds that traditionally run PP, without the need to re-tool.
The new nucleating agent will be available in the United States on Dec. 1, and subsequently in Asia, Latin America and Europe, pending chemical registrations. Food contact approvals are also in process.