California-based Merle Norman Cosmetics claims to have discovered a new blend of processing technique and material called AN004 which resulted in 'uncompromising clarity, at wall thicknesses unheard of in a clear polymer'.
Produced by Eastman Chemical Company the Eastar copolyester AN004 will be used for Merle Norman's new upscale Luxiva brand liquid foundation bottle.
Merle Norman in-house moulding manager John Ramirez said the company had been aiming to find a polymer that could simulate the distinctive clarity and rich substance of thick blown glass, as it prefers to use plastic so as to create a more unique product. Most materials cannot withstand the extremes of the moulding process and retain a crystal-like clarity in addition to resisting the chemicals typically found in cosmetics.
'This was not your typical injection blow moulding application - i.e. a clear, thick-walled bottle ranging in thickness from 0.50 to 0.150 inches,' said Merle Norman in a statement. 'The blow moulding technique was equally as unique as the extreme wall thickness. Without using a preform, Merle Norman broke new ground by simultaneously injecting and blowing the bottle from a 0.20 inch-thick parison'.
AS such through collaboration with both local supplier Albis, and Eastman, Merle Norman's design and manufacturing team discovered Eastar copolyester AN004.The material is said to meet FDA requirements and also passed Merle Norman's own fitness-for-use tests, which included submerging the AN004 in a liquid foundation for 24 hours at 50°C. "I never knew copolyester had such good chemical resistance," noted Ramirez. He added that the ability to achieve these thicknesses was a big step in minimising product weight loss, something that he claims until now was only possible with glass or thick-walled opaque and translucent plastic.
The team also discovered was that it was very easy to process. "I tried different copolymers, but AN004 was more forgiving and easier to process," explained Ramirez.
Cosmetics packaging demands processing ease, chemical resistance and lasting beauty. Merle Norman claims its approach has now helped them achieve what once would have been impossible - a thick-walled, blow moulded container with the look and feel of glass.
Eastman's Lisa Shumate commented: "We're pleased that Eastar copolyester AN004 is becoming a viable alternative to glass with the added safeguard of being virtually indestructible."
The new Luxiva brand liquid foundation is currently only available in Merle Norman Studios throughout North America, but if this product is as exciting as its developers claim then it can surely only be a matter of time before we see it wending its way over to Europe?.Headquartered in Los Angeles, California., Merle Norman Cosmetics develops, manufactures and distributes its own full line of skin care and colour cosmetics products. Eastman Chemical Company, headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, U.S.A., manufactures and markets plastics, chemicals and fibers worldwide.