Chicago — Ineos recently announced plans to close its Barex plant in Lima, OH. The Barex resin is an impact-modified acrylonitrile-methyl acrylate copolymer and is oftentimes used in pharmaceutical and medical applications.
"There is now a hole that needs filled in the marketplace," Dwane Hahn, vice president of sales and marketing for Rollprint Packaging Products, told PlasticsToday during Pack Expo at booth N-6161. "We want the industry to know that we have an alternative."
In fact, when Rollprint learned about Ineos' announcement, they switched its focus for Pack Expo to highlight its Exponent 2, which features a combination of Rollprint's ClearFoil and a coextruded non-crystalline polyester sealant.
"Our booth is slammed with inquiries," Hahn commented. "It's been very positive for us."
The material targets pharmaceutical and other chemically-sensitive applications that require barrier and clarity properties.
Hahn believes that the Exponent 2 offers improved sealing characteristics over Barex due to "easier-to-create hermetic seals and improved line speeds."
ClearFoil, a barrier-coated polyester, is coextrusion coated with a non-crystalline polyester sealant to create Exponent 2. Pre-made or inline pouching, lidding and flow wrap applications are anticipated to be the first commercialized package types.
"We have engineered the Exponent family of films to meet performance requirements for pharma and other chemically-sensitive products, but use less material to help manufacturers meet their cost objectives," Hahn said. "We also wanted to offer clarity attributes not possible with foil-based structures and give companies an alternative to glass vials."
Exponent 2 has been engineered to provide a chemically neutral, ultra-high oxygen and water vapor barrier with chemical resistance. Oxygen barrier levels are available as low as 0.0008 cc/100in2-24 hrs. and water vapor barrier properties are available down to 0.0008 g/100in2-24 h.
The transdermal patch, e-cigarette and diagnostics markets are the first application opportunities Rollprint envisions for this technology. Exponent 2 is also a candidate for single-dose delivery systems because of its high surface-to-volume ratio and unique barrier properties.
Beyond medical, the high-barrier film is also suited for the emerging flexible packaging for wine and spirits segment because of its organoleptic characteristics.