FlexFilms (Elizabethtown, KY) has developed a polymer film with a satin-soft surface that is also strong and durable. The bi-axially oriented polyethylene terephthalate (BOPET) film, FLEXPET F-STF, reportedly exhibits exceptional scratch, heat and scuff resistance. The durable surface self heals most scuff marks.
“If we scratch the surface of this film, it won’t [stay] scratched,” said Dr. Steven J. Sargeant, General Manager, Technology. “Soft touch is rendered through a robust surface coating in combination with a proprietary in-line anchor coating on the base polyester film. This combination imparts unique properties of self-healing, toughness and durability along with the soft texture. This effectively increases converters’ yields, as they generate less scrap and have fewer customer rejections or other associated issues.”
“All polymeric films tend to stick to themselves, which is called blocking,” added Vijay Yadav, Business Head. “In the case of our soft-touch film, this isn’t an issue. Through the combination of a base film and off-line coating design, we have been able to avoid blocking and improve durability of the soft touch at high processing speeds. This, in turn, leads to higher production throughput. The film is thinner than [other] low-quality solutions currently available in the market. This clearly decreases material costs of end-use packaging.”
The product has extensive applications. “It finds use in luxury brand packaging, decorative packaging, labelling, graphic advertising banners and high-end stationery products, among others,” said Anantshree Chaturvedi, Vice Chairman and CEO.
F-STF film exhibits low gloss, matte homogeneity with high haze (>90%) and very high contact (see-through) clarity. This means that the film can be readily reverse printed by convertors to impart deep and rich graphics. The surface maintains its soft and luxurious feel yet is strong and durable enough to withstand handling throughout the value chain.
“Tactile feel products have an anticipated CAGR of 12 to 15% and are thought to be the highest growth segment in the flexible packaging space in the United States,” Chaturvedi added. “This is an encouraging opportunity that Flex Films is pursuing.”
“By addressing two rather dichotomous issues of maintaining a velvety soft surface texture of the BOPET film while simultaneously ensuring good tensile strength, the engineers at Flex Films have given convertors the best of both worlds,” said Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman & Managing Director, Uflex Ltd.