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Achieve grades target automotive, appliance, hygiene and rigid packaging sectors.

Stephen Moore

May 7, 2018

3 Min Read
Chinaplas: ExxonMobil Chemical debuts next-generation advanced PP materials

ExxonMobil Chemical selected the Chinaplas show in Shanghai for the global debut of a new advanced slate of polypropylene (PP) materials to be marketed under the Achieve brand. The reactor-made grades, produced in the U.S. and Singapore, target a diversity of applications including automotive parts, rigid packaging, nonwovens, and appliances. “Using this advanced PP eliminates trade-offs in performance, processing and end-of-life handling,” says Cindy Shulman, ExxonMobil Vice President of Plastics and Resins.

Achieve advanced PP can realize appliance housing- with superior gloss and stiffness compared to standard impact copolymer.

Higher impact strength is realized in automotive parts compared with standard impact copolymers, with improved surface finish to boot.

Rigid containers, cups and tubs molded from Achieve advanced PP enables the economic production of thinner containers, cups and tubs that are easier to thermoform.

Achieve advanced PP reportedly eliminates trade-offs associated with conventional polymers. For example, improving the stiffness and toughness balance in automotive applications is possible; in rigid packaging, stiffness and processing efficiency can now be increased together with the application of high melt strength grades with broad molecular weight distribution with a higher proportion of the polymer on the high molecular weight side; and, in appliance parts, high gloss can be attained economically, opening up opportunities to replace more costly acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) materials.

In automotive applications, the microstructure and morphology of Achieve advanced PP reportedly delivers 35 percent higher impact versus standard impact copolymers, with improved surface finish to boot. Plastomer loading can also be reduced by up to 50 percent for cost saving opportunities. Specifically, Achieve advanced PP is suited to application in bumpers, door panels and consoles. Parts can be injection foam molded according to ExxonMobil Chemical, with foaming ratios of 10 to 90 percent achievable.

In the appliance field, Achieve advanced PP is said to be ideal for upgrading standard impact copolymer solutions or replacing over-engineered ABS. Parts with 20 percent higher gloss and 10% greater stiffness than standard PP can now be economically produced for application in garment steamers, water coolers, fans and vacuum cleaners, for example. All of these products have been tested and commercialized over the past twelve months. ExxonMobil Chemical cites a 20% cost saving over ABS, and 14% lower polymer density.

The high melt strength grades of the new resin target rigid container, cup and tub applications, either foamed or non-foamed. Opportunities exist to downgauge wall thickness by up to 15 percent and increase line speeds by 7 percent for higher output. Packaging made with Achieve advanced PP is microwaveable, reusable is widely recyclable. Blown film is also a potential application

ExxonMobil Chemicals also views nonwoven textiles as a fertile application segment for Achieve. In nonwovens there is normally a trade-off between strength and softness but my blending two Achieve grades, a balance of the two properties can be achieved. The material provides for barrier properties and up to 15 percent higher fabric strength that can be tailored to meet the needs of diapers, wipes, adult incontinence, and feminine care products.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and is a proud dachshund owner.

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