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In an effort to expand the market for blown plastic containers for medical applications, SABIC and Mauser have collaborated to develop a new grade of high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

PlasticsToday Staff

October 16, 2012

2 Min Read
HDPE grade targets expanded medical applications

In an effort to expand the market for blown plastic containers for medical applications, SABIC and Mauser have collaborated to develop a new grade of high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

SABIC HDPE PCG4906 targets jerry cans, open-head and tight-head drums, intermediate bulk containers

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(IBCs), and blow molded bottles. The grade meets European and American pharmacopeia requirements and is said to have the physical and mechanical properties required by customers for the production of containers with volumes up to 1000 liters.

"We are confident that SABIC HDPE PCG4906 will meet an important need in the healthcare market," says Klaus Peter Schmidt, head of global product development at Mauser.  "With our new multilayer L-Ring drum produced from this new SABIC grade we are not only targeting healthcare but also other industries with high demands in regard to packaging material cleanliness, regulatory conformity and last but not least long term supply security. We are looking forward to expanding our business in this area."

The cooperation between the two companies started three years ago when they first joined forces to develop a new generation of HDPE for L-ring drums which made improvements in processing performance and system cost reduction. This led to the introduction of SABIC HDPE ICP5602.

The goal with the new grade was to develop the right balance of density, melt flow, impact strength and environmental stress crack resistance (ESCR). It has a melt flow rate of 6 g/10 min (190°C, 21.6 kg), a notched Izod impact strength of 17 kJ/m2 at -30°C, and an ESCR of 30 MPa (strain hardening).

Several grades already exist in the market for industrial applications, but SABIC said that its new grade is the only one especially dedicated to pharma applications.

"Mauser was very receptive to the idea of collaborating on the project, they share our vision for developing the blown container market," says Hery Randrianantoandro, SABIC's business development manager healthcare for Europe.

The Mauser Group (Bruehl, Germany) is a global producer of industrial packaging with 4,000 employees and consolidated revenue of some €1 billion ($1.3 billion). It has 23 locations in the United States. SABIC is the third largest polyethylene manufacturer in the world. It entered the polyethylene business in 1985 in a joint venture with Exxon Mobil at Al Jubail, a new industrial city with significant plastics projects in Saudi Arabia. SABIC bought DSM's petrochemical business in 2002 and now also operates large production sites for polyethylene in Europe.

The first drums produced by Mauser in the new grade meet requirements based on UN recommendations covering transport of dangerous goods. Procedures involve stacking, drop tests at -18°C, and hydraulic internal pressure tests.

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