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Millken claims significant advantages from new PE technology

By Simon Pitman , 12-Jan-2011

Chemicals specialists Milliken says a new technology it has developed could bring significant advantages for polyethylene (PE) packaging designed for personal care applications.

The Belgium-based company says it has overcome one of the toughest challenges in the plastics packaging segment by successfully developing a nucleation process for PE materials used for a range of packaging materials.

Hyperform HPN-20E is said to be the most efficient PE nucleation agent available on the market and helps to create higher peak crystallization temperatures that can cut cycle times and increase productivity by an estimated 10 to 20 per cent.

Likewise, the process can also help to improve barrier performance of the resin, allowing packaging providers the choice of cutting costs in two different ways.

Improved barrier protection

Firstly the process means that personal care packaging providers can also help to improve oxygen and water vapor performance of the resin by between 20 and 40 per cent, if they maintain the same barrier thickness.

This means that the process can help to reduce necessary over-fill of products to compensate for inevitable volume loss that happens on account of permeated water vapour lost in the time between filling and the consumer purchase.

This permeation process can also affect the amount of fragrance needed for the formulation as the same permeation can also reduce the life cycle of the product’s aroma.

Reducing packaging materials

The second way that cost can be cut is due to the fact that the increased barrier protection means that the thickness of the resin can be reduced, which is particularly pertinent to formulae where fragrance and liquid permeation are not such an important issue.

“Milliken is now also focused on polyethylene to meet a longstanding need for processing and performance enhancements,” said Wim Van de Velde, global marketing manager, Polyethylene Nucleation, Milliken.

“We are making a major investment in the development of new polyethylene additive technologies to assist our customers and encourage use of this recyclable material."

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