Dow random copolymer polypropylene (PP) has been paired with Milliken's Millad NX 8000 clarifying agent for a new family of PP promising good aesthetics, functionality, and operational efficiencies. The Agility NX clear PP was introduced at the 2011 International Home & Housewares Show (March 6-8, McCormick Place, Chicago).
Agility NX targets clear, injection-molded food and consumer-storage containers, thin-wall retail food packaging, and other consumer goods applications. Dow and Milliken say the family of resins allows converters to run equipment at lower temperatures, reducing energy use, with faster processing and easier mold release. Altogether, the material reportedly allows converters to cut cycle time by 10% or more.
Melt flow rates for the Agility NX family, which has six grades, range from 12 to 80, using the ASTM D 1238 standard. Dow says that unlike conventional clarified random copolymers of PP, which can forego durability, functionality, and design freedom to improve efficiency and aesthetics, Agility NX resins reportedly allow lighter-weight, thin-wall configurations that balance stiffness and toughness with excellent taste and odor performance.
In its own testing, Milliken found that its Millad NX 8000 clarifying agent enabled a 50% haze reduction compared to the previous generation clarifier, Millad 3988i. That haze reduction was independent of melt flow, and less dependent on molding temperature compared to Millad 3988i. The 50% haze reduction was seen in random copolymer and homopolymer PPs.