Competitive trends in the packaging industry are exerting pressures on processors to improve productivity and reduce weight as well as costs. This in turn mothballs into pressure on the raw material manufacturers and are driving the development of innovative PP resins.
Basell has introduced three new polypropylene (PP) resins that can aid food processors cut back on costs by reducing the weight of their packaging. Reduction in weight of packaging will cut back on material and transportation costs, and also aid in meeting the current tougher recycling requirements. The new PP resins are being marketed under the trade names Adstif HA740J, Higran RS1684 and Moplen EP310K, and can be used to replace traditional packaging materials such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or glass. These materials meet new customer requirements of improved barrier properties and aesthetics with low odour and taste, as well as the right balance of rigidity and impact resistance.
AdstifHA740J is designed for those requiring preformed multi-layer barrier food packaging. - It is a nucleated, high-crystalline PP material for use in sheet extrusion and thermoforming processes. The resin offers improved processing, high transparency and stiffness without loss of impact resistance. Adstif HA740J has the potential for thermoformers to incorporate regrind into clear PP applications without compromising transparency, the company claimed. The Adstif HA740J resin exhibits higher stiffness, providing good dimensional stability in thinner gauges even after sterilization, hot-filling or microwave reheating, and is being targeted at the multi-layer barrier food packaging market.
The Higran RS1684 resin is designed to replace existing materials used in foamed food tray applications. The new resin is produced using Basell's Spherizone PP technology. It is being marketed as a high melt strength PP grade that can be used to make foamed food trays used in the packaging of fresh fruits, vegetables and meat. The polypropylene resin has all of the typical food-contact benefits of polyolefins. Food can be packed 'in-line', which can minimise the risk of tray contamination during transfer from line to line, he said. The fine-cell structure of foamed PP can produce packaging that is aesthetically attractive and comfortable to the touch. Higran can also be used in form-fill-seal lines, surpassing polystyrene performance in foamed packaging, as it provides high dimensional stability during hot filling and microwave reheat-ability. In addition to foamed tray applications, Basell's new Higran RS1684 grade can be used for blown film extrusion. Tests show that the new resin can enhance bubble stability, thereby increasing production line output.
The Moplen EP310K resin is marketed as a medium flow heterophasic copolymer for use in cast film applications such as retortable pouches. The resin contains no slip or anti-blocking agents and can be used in customer food contact applications. Moplen EP310K's other features include improved scratch resistance and reduced shrinkage combined with easy processing and low stress whitening, the company claimed.