NPE2012 Packaging Overview: Materials

April 18, 2012

Not to be outdone by the machines, there was an abundance of new resins, compounds, and additives on the exhibit floor at NPE2012.

"There is more participation by resin manufacturers than we've seen in the last four or five NPEs, as these companies exhibit, host customer service centers, or sponsor special-interest initiatives such as our design competition," said SPI's Gene Sanders, Sr. VP, trade shows and conferences. 

Sustainability seemed to be a key theme among many material suppliers. Here's a collection of various materials at NPE2012:

Plexiglas Rnew with NatureWorks' Ingeo biopolymer

Altuglas International, a subsidiary of Arkema, presented its Plexiglas Rnew biobased resins, compounded alloys of Altuglas International's PMMA and NatureWorks LLC's Ingeo biopolymer at NPE2012.

The new biobased alloys are designed for brands looking for lower carbon footprint solutions, the companies said. The new Plexiglas Rnew compounds stem from the synergistic effect of compounding two completely miscible polymers, Plexiglas and Ingeo biopolymer.

The Plexiglas Rnew alloys feature lower processing temperatures, greater melt flow properties, and reduced carbon footprint, according to to the company.

Altuglas can tailor properties of these alloys, such as impact and chemical resistance without compromising the optics, scratch resistance, color acceptance, and surface aesthetics.

"What makes this product so exciting is that the new resins will provide a viable alternative for brands looking for a transparent biobased material for durable applications while the end-user will benefit from purchasing goods with a lower carbon footprint and thus contributing to the use of renewable resources in plastic goods," said Antonis Papadourakis, Altuglas International regional group president, Americas.

Nippon Gohsei launched EVOH/clay composite

Nippon Gohsei officially launched the first of a series of EVOH/specialty clay composites at this year's NPE show.

Late last year it was announced that Nippon Gohsei had entered into an exclusive global licensing agreement with the Spanish-based Nanobiomatters for the exclusive use of its O2Block barrier additive in EVOH composites. The O2Block barrier is Nanobiomatter's proprietary clay-based additive designed to improve the barrier properties of various polymers such as EVOH, according to the company.

Nippon Gohsei is marketing the EVOH clay composite products under the SoarnoL NC series trade name.

Nanobiomatters O2Block additives consist of surface-modified organoclays based on a selection of layered phillosilicate minerals. They are food-contact approved surface modification systems specifically designed to create a barrier for migrants, such as oxygen, water vapor, oils. 

Data showed the notable improvement in barrier over conventional EVOH, especially at high humilities, according to the company.

Gohsei plans to introduce additional grades based on different ethylene content EVOH later this year.

At NPE, Nanobiomatters also showed its latest developments in other product ranges, including the silver-based BactiBlock products suitable for antimicrobial surface protection of a wide range of polymers.

Styrolution premiered PCR line of polystyrenes; launched high-impact polystyrene resin

Global styrenics supplier Styrolution showcased its line of polystyrene products containing post-consumer recycled (PCR) polystyrene. The product line from Styrolution includes three product grades, each with 25% PCR content, which is supplied by NextLife, a collaborative manufacturer of sustainable plastic resins for use in a variety of applications.

These grades are FDA-compliant for food contact and designed for injection molding and extrusion applications requiring consistent resin properties. The resins, which process the same as 100% virgin polystyrene, target injection molded opaque applications, such as cutlery, housewares, office accessories and appliance components, according to the company.

"This product line proves that polystyrene is absolutely a recyclable product," said Ed Barnes, vp of Styrolution. "We look forward to working within our industry to increase the reclamation and reuse of polystyrene materials into eco-friendly end products."   

Styrolution also launched its new high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) resin, created specifically for customers in the food service packaging industry.

The new blending resin product was created for packaging applications where HIPS is blended with unmodified polystyrene. It can be blended with general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) to customize toughness and stiffness properties based on each application.

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