Leading polyolefins additives supplier Milliken has innovative solutions to showcase at the upcoming Interpack 2017 trade fair for clear packaging applications in polypropylene and PET. At that May 4-10 show in Düsseldorf, Milliken will demonstrate why NX™ UltraClear PP is the optimal, cost-effective option to help brand owners address the growing packaging trends for both resource efficiency and attention-grabbing appeal.
“NX UltraClear PP, which is polypropylene clarified with Millikens Millad® NX™ 8000, is the ideal material to bring exceptional clarity, aesthetics, lightweighting and increased sustainability to a variety of commercial packaging applications,” according to Sami T.K. Palanisami, Milliken Commercial Manager – EMEA. “It offers the clarity of materials such as PET, while delivering specific benefits for different processes” — all of which Milliken will highlight at Interpack 2017 (Hall 10, Booth C32).
Brand owners benefit from thermoformed NX UltraClear PP
When it comes to thermoformed and foldable packaging, NX UltraClear PP delivers a vast range of property and performance benefits to converters and brand owners, allowing the resin to offer an all-round packaging solution. These include:
Glass-like transparency — The days of thermoformed polypropylene applications with a milky appearance are gone.
For thermoforming and sheet packaging, NX UltraClear PP rivals the glass-like clarity of commonly used resins such as A-PET and polystyrene, while also offering a glossier appearance than that normally associated with standard, nucleated polypropylene.
Lighter weight — NX UltraClear PP has a significantly lower density than other plastic material options, reducing the weight of a thermoformed part. PPs density of 0,9kg/m³ compared to PETs density of 1,37kg/m³ allows converters to produce significantly more trays per kilo of material. Using less material also can help to reduce eco-tax contributions.
Stiffness & impact strength — For NX UltraClear PP to achieve the same stiffness as A-PET, the PP sheet typically is 15–20% thicker compared to the virgin A-PET sheet. But opting for a ribbed or improved design often can obviate the need for those thicker walls. NX UltraClear PPs lower density yields products that weigh much less than corresponding PET applications yet with equal stiffness.
Sealing effectiveness — Polypropylene is known to be very robust and easy to seal. Standard PP sealant films still seal well even when residue is left on tray edges and exteriors during filling. A mono-material PP tray & PP film solution offers the advantage of a 100% recyclable system that does not require the use of an adhesive.
Hot filling, retort & microwave ability — NX UltraClear PP is a great choice for any thermoformed cup or tray application where higher temperatures are concerned. Its excellent heat resistance and good cold-temperature performance combine to make it suitable for hot fill and microwaveable applications, while also enabling the “fridge to microwave” concept.
Recycling & sustainability — Polypropylene offers a compelling circular-economy story in that a strong market exists for recycled PP in a variety of end products. As a material, PP consumes the least amount of energy during production and produces the fewest carbon dioxide emissions. Its lower density means that adopting the resin also reduces the absolute amount of waste. Thermoformed NX UltraClear PP applications also are straightforward to recycle because their mono-material concept.
Injection molders see environmental, productivity gains
Injection molders use NX UltraClear PP because it can help them to boost productivity and enhance sustainability. The material allows molders to reduce processing temperatures from 235°C to 190°C, resulting in lower energy use, reduced CO2 emissions and up to 10% faster cycle times.
Enabling complex, easy-empty blow molded bottles
NX UltraClear PP allows brand owners to develop lightweight bottles with integrated handles and complex, eye-catching designs. These extrusion blow molded (EBM) bottles are also easier and faster to empty than other options. Polypropylene made using Millikens Millad NX 8000E additive offers the lowest density and lower weight compared to glass and all alternative EBM plastics.
For example, clear handleware bottles made using NX UltraClear PP have a density of 0.9 g/cc compared to PETs 1.35 g/cc, yet deliver the same clarity level. At Interpack, visitors can experience first-hand the easy-empty feature of such bottles, which reduces product waste.
Package your products in PET with confidence with ClearShield UV absorber
Millikens advances are not limited to polypropylene. The company also brings real value to PET packaging via its ClearShield® UV absorber. This technology effectively protects UV-sensitive packed contents from degradation while maintaining the clarity and transparency of PET.
This is vital, since brand owners are responding to consumer demands by using more natural ingredients in everything from solid or liquid food and vitamins, to home- and personal-care products such as shampoos, dyes and cleaning chemicals. But exposure to UV light can degrade such ingredients, and negatively impact the consistency of such packages contents — be it in appearance, fragrance, color, flavor or nutrient value.
ClearShield offers an alternative, simpler way to provide UV protection. By incorporating the UV absorber into the PET packaging itself, this technology allows brand owners to remove the often high loadings of UV additives that until now they have had to include in the formulations of the packaged contents themselves. This can reduce cost by simplifying the formulation process and reducing the amount of UV additive needed. ClearShield-modified PET enables the use of more environmentally friendly contents, and serves to extend the shelf life of packaged materials, which in turn helps to reduce waste and protect brand image.
Visit Milliken at Interpack 2017 at Hall 10, Booth C32.
Milliken is an innovation company that has been exploring, discovering, and creating ways to enhance peoples lives since 1865. Working from our laboratories, application and development centers around the world, our scientists and engineers create coatings, specialty chemicals, and advanced additive and colorant technologies that transform the way we experience products from automotive plastics to children's art supplies. With expertise across a breadth of disciplines that also includes floor covering and performance materials, the people of Milliken work every day to add true value to peoples lives, improve health and safety, and make this world more sustainable. For more information, visit www.millikenchemical.com.
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