ExxonMobil’s Exceed XP: a potential game change in film performance

Productivity enhancements also possible, as is cost optimization through blending with C4 LLDPE

Chinaplas was the venue for the global debut of ExxonMobil Chemical’s new range of Exceed XP metallocene-based linear low-density polyethylene (mLLDPE) resins. The product family delivers a significant leap in performance in film applications according to the supplier. Larry Gros, Global Polymers Product & Applications Development Manager at the company, and Thomas Deman, Polyethylene Global Marketing Manager, discussed the new range of resins with PlasticsToday at the recent Chinaplas show in Shanghai.

ExxonMobil Chemical’s Gros (left) and Deman (right): Exceed XP raises the performance bar, while retaining the option for cost optimization through blending with conventional C4 LLDPE.
Enable 40-02 collation shrink film is a more sustainable solution for bundling large bottles than cardboard boxes still commonly used to this day in the Asia Pacific region.

Enhanced dart impact strength is a key attribute of Exceed XP according to Gros. “In bag-and-box applications, XP can replace [more expensive] plastomer-type materials in the formulation.” ExxonMobil offers such plastomer products under its Vistamaxx range but Deman noted that the company is committed to bringing the best solutions to market.

In terms of cost, Gros says that Exceed XP can be cost-optimized through the addition of 20-30 percent C4 LLDPE with “only a very slight fall-off in dart impact strength. Further, a low seal temperature of the order of 95°C while maintaining good stiffness and flexural modulus properties also makes the new grades suitable for pillow and stand-up pouches according to Gros.

In mulch and silage film applications, meanwhile, Exceed XP can confer the necessary tear strength at gages of 20 microns, which is the norm for such films today. “Processability is also extremely good for the level of performance, comparable to our Enable product and superior to conventional Exceed,” says Gros. “In fact we’ve seen 10-30 percent increases in output for construction film liners versus the reference in the market.” For example a 250-micron construction class-A liner can be extruded at 20 feet/minute with Exceed XP 8656 versus 15 feet/minute for a 75:25 blend of C6 LLDPE and LDPE. The same high output is possible with a 70:30 blend of XP 8656 and C4 LLDPE.

ExxonMobil Chemical also introduced a new collation shrink film to the market at Chinaplas. Enable 40-02 mLPDPE reportedly allows the creation of collation shrink films with new levels of stiffness, strength and holding force for excellent packaging performance.

A 3-layer, 60 micron film which utilizes Enable 40-02 delivers a number of valuable attributes including: exceptional mechanical properties which can provide downgauging opportunities of up to 25 percent for unit cost and weight reduction; improved clarity for shelf appeal and vibrant graphics; and controlled TD (transverse direction) shrink performance for more consistent shrinkage. Additionally, the excellent processability of Enable 40-02 delivers consistent quality films, high speed operations and good output, resulting in lower resin use and energy consumption.

These high performing, sustainable collation shrink films, produced using

Enable has been hugely successful in allowing downgaging compared to LDPE whilst delivering better mechanical properties.” Says Gros. “You’re able to collate large packs of bottles at a lower gage. In the Asia Pacific, we see potential for elimination of cardboard packaging.” Another potential application is compressions packaging for diapers, where good hold force is enabled.

“The properties of our new Enable 40-02 product allow converters to produce thinner and stronger bundling films versus existing solutions,” said Terry Tucker, polyethylene market development manager, ExxonMobil Chemical. Collation shrink films, produced using Enable 40-02, offer optimum solutions to ensure products such as bottled beverages, canned goods, and health and beauty products are tightly secure, protecting goods throughout the value chain.

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