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New 18-micron MDO-PE Film Is Fully Recyclable, Uses 25% Less Material

Monomaterial film reportedly meets or exceeds market standards for mechanical properties, appearance, and process requirements.

Geoff Giordano

May 30, 2024

2 Min Read
18-micrometer-thin MDO-PE film
Image courtesy of Reifenhäuser

A new, fully recyclable 18-micron MDO-PE film from Reifenhäuser Blown Film uses 25% less material compared to previous 25-micron films, the company said.

The monomaterial film, produced on Reifenhäuser EVO blown film lines with patented EVO Ultra Stretch MDO technology, meets or exceeds market standards for mechanical properties, appearance, and additional process requirements, the company said. 

Samples of the film, tested by LG Chem and printing specialist Bobst, will be displayed at the Bobst stand at the Drupa 2024 event in Düsseldorf, Germany, from May 28 to June 7.

Further downgauging envisioned.

"Machine builders and manufacturers have been pursuing the same goal for some time — not to use more material in fully recyclable all-PE solutions than in conventional PET-PE laminates,” said Christoph Lettowsky, senior product manager at Reifenhäuser. “Technically, this is achieved due to the different densities of PET film and MDO-PE film by replacing the 12-micron (µm) PET film with a 16- to 17-µm MDO-PE film. With the reduction to 18 µm, we have taken a significant step in this direction, with further downgauging potential for the future."

During its manufacture, the MDO-PE film is stretched from the first heating, with the Ultra Stretch unit positioned directly in the system’s haul-off. The film has been produced “stably and reproducibly over many hours” in test runs, the company said.

EVO_Ultra_Stretch.jpg

Despite its thinness, MDO-PE film exceeds 1,400 MPa modulus of elasticity MD and 1,100 MPa modulus of elasticity TD, and it features 6% to 7% better optical properties than the market standard, the company said.

'Excellent results' even at high printing speeds.

"The way this extra-thin 18-µm MDO-PE blown film behaves on our printing machines is unique on the market,” said Davide Rossello, head of competence center and process manager gravure at Bobst. “We have printed the film at high speeds up to 500 m/min with excellent results in terms of printing quality and register performance. But even more impressively, we were able to demonstrate the quality of our machine when printing in the Bobst oneECG process, achieving excellent print results at 300 m/min (and above)."

See samples at Bobst’s booth — B30-1 in hall 10 — at drupa 2024.

About the Author(s)

Geoff Giordano

Geoff Giordano is a tech journalist with more than 30 years’ experience in all facets of publishing. He has reported extensively on the gamut of plastics manufacturing technologies and issues, including 3D printing materials and methods; injection, blow, micro and rotomolding; additives, colorants and nanomodifiers; blown and cast films; packaging; thermoforming; tooling; ancillary equipment; and the circular economy. Contact him at [email protected].

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