ExxonMobil today introduced a new polyethylene (PE) resin platform designed to produce stiffer and tougher products than competing materials while being easier to process. The Exceed S performance PE resins allow users to reduce the complexity of film formulations and designs while improving film performance, conversion efficiency, and packaging durability compared with currently available products, the company said.
Film design has become increasingly complex, and processors often must compromise between ease of processing and finished product performance, said Tom Miller, Exceed S Marketing Manager at ExxonMobil. Multi-component resin blends in co-extruded and laminated films with high layer counts create challenges for today’s processors, he said. Multiple steps are needed to produce and convert printed film into durable packaging. This leads to inefficiencies caused by high scrap rates and human error.
“Exceed S performance PE resins deliver simplicity without compromise,” Miller said. “Now, converters can get high performance with easy processing, stiffness, and toughness with less blending, and resin solutions that can simplify operations and improve package durability.”
Image courtesy of ExxonMobil
|Processability of new Exceed S performance PE resins.|
The new platform is designed for films used in food, industrial, and agricultural applications. The resins can be designed for recyclability and can accomodate products containing recycled resins.
“Converters will be able to rethink film design and reduce the complexity of their formulas,” Miller told PlasticsToday. “For example, they no longer need to add HDPE for stiffness and LPDE for ease of processing.” In addition, converters can create flatter and less extensible films to improve print and package line efficiency. This will allow them to create more durable, yet flexible packaging.
The first three commercially available resin grades are designed to ensure low melt pressure and high output on blown film lines. The new resins will allow processors to create a broad range of packaging and film applications.
For example, they can be processed to make large, heavy-duty sacks used in industry and agriculture, and silo bags for farming engineered to provide increased puncture, impact, and tear resistance. The resin’s combination of low melt pressure and high extrusion output can help increase converters’ production capacity.
In primary packaging, non-laminated co-extruded films used in pouches and bags that contain liquid, food, or other goods can benefit from improved toughness and are less likely to break when transported or dropped, Miller said. Multi-wall bladders used in hot-filled bag-in-box packaging exhibit exceptional resistance to heat-induced blocking and flex cracking, according to ExxonMobil.
When asked if he could quantify the improved performance of end products made from the new resins, Miller told PlasticsToday that they were used to make a two-liter water pouch with a three-layer, non-laminated co-ex structure. The product’s puncture resistance increased by 15%, he said, and the survivability of the pouch in an impact test more than doubled compared with the same product made from the previous resin.
“We advanced the product stiffness and toughness and made it easier to process because you don’t need to blend the resin as much to achieve better outcomes,” he told PlasticsToday.
The new resins can be used to increase film performance, maintain comparable performance at a thinner gauge, produce more durable mono-material products, or incorporate high percentages of recycled content, Miller said.
“ExxonMobil has been at the forefront of polyethylene innovation for nearly thirty years. The new Exceed S platform embodies our most advanced product and process development informed by deep, long-standing partnerships with our customers,” said David Hergenrether, Vice President Polyethylene, ExxonMobil. The opportunities that Exceed S performance polyethylene offers have resulted in successful collaborations with more than 75 ExxonMobil customers globally working on more than 100 different applications, he added.