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Film extrusion: With this masterbatch, more recyclate doesn’t mean more gels

A new antioxidant masterbatch is offered that protects reprocessed or recycled polyolefins from degradation during processing, allowing blown- and cast-film processors to use more recyclate without detrimental effects, such as gels, impairing their film's aesthetic or physical properties. 

A new antioxidant masterbatch is offered that protects reprocessed or recycled polyolefins from degradation during processing, allowing blown- and cast-film processors to use more recyclate without detrimental effects, such as gels, impairing their film's aesthetic or physical properties. 

Ampacetmasterbatch lets processors use more recyclate in their recipe
The new masterbatch from Ampacet helps processors include more recyclate in their film and sheet recipes.
That is the  claim the supplier, Ampacet (Tarrytown, NY), is making for its new product, which the company says is now available globally. The new masterbatch is seen as particularly beneficial in applications such as clear packaging films, whose processors know all too well the cost-savings pressure they face, pressure pushing them to use more recyclate, but with the simultaneous demand that quality remain top-notch.

Ampacet's high-masterbatch boosts the thermo-oxidative stability of recycled material. Because the antioxidant protects against degradation, gel-formation, and yellowing, processors can downgauge and/or use higher recycle content while maintaining film properties. Beyond film and sheet processing, the masterbatch also could see use in repelletizing operations; restoring thermo-oxidative stability to recycled material causes it to perform more like virgin resin. 

In answer to questions from MPW, Ampacet officials say the product is available commercially and claims made of its efficacy stem both from lab experiments as well as from customer-reported successes. The supplier reports one customer this year told it that with the new matserbatch, at a 1% loading, the processor was able to double the amount of reprocessed resin it could incorporate back into its process, leading to about a 5% reduction in virgin resin consumption.

According to Shawn Lucas, development manager at Ampacet, "In blown-film processing of a clarity application, 0.5% (loading level) of the masterbatch reduced gels and allowed re-use of edge trim and scrap of up to 10% without any detrimental effects on physical or optical properties...In another case, adding 1% of the masterbatch during repelletizing allowed a cast film processor to increase the addition of repelletized material from less than 5% to greater than 15% in a critical application." The masterbatch is approved for food-contact applications. Matt Defosse

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