Today at Fakuma, Dow Performance Silicones (Midland, MI), a global business unit of DowDuPont Materials Sciences division, introduced a new masterbatch that improves slip performance in bi-axially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) film and eliminates additive migration. HMB-6301 is a patent-pending solution based on heritage Dow Corning silicone technology that addresses key drawbacks of standard slip agents, including continuous migration from the film surface, and degradation over time and under elevated temperatures, said the company.
Organic additives are routinely used to enhance slip performance, but they tend to migrate, according to Christophe Paulo, Global Segment Leader, Plastic Additives. “When you roll the film, the additives migrate and cause tremendous problems for high-quality printing, laminating, metalizing and so forth,” he told PlasticsToday from the Fakuma show floor. HMB-6301 masterbatch can benefit BOPP film converters and processors by lowering the coefficient of friction to optimize packaging production efficiencies, and by enabling superior printing and metallization for high-quality, attractive packaging. “Packaging is part of your product’s branding," added Paulo, and for premium products, a quality appearance is essential.
HMB-6301 masterbatch is added only to the outer layer of the BOPP film. “You put it only where you need its properties,” said Paulo, and because it won’t migrate, you don’t need to worry about it transferring from the silicone-treated side to the corona-treated side. Moreover, it is stable over time and temperature. “We tested it for 18 months, and there was no change in the properties or aesthetics,” said Paulo.
The masterbatch may enable cost savings, as well, according to Paulo. “When you’re using organic additives, you have to run the machine slow to prevent migration. With HMB-6301, you can run the machine at higher speeds." Polypropylene is a cheap commodity material—the big-ticket item is the energy that is consumed in transfering the material to film, "and if that can be done faster, you’re saving money,” said Paulo.
Dow Corning HMB-6301 Masterbatch is engineered for BOPP and PP cast films used mainly in food bags, wrappers, packages and pouches. European Union food contact compliance and U.S. FDA food contact approval is in process, said Dow Performance Silicones. It is suitable for both sequential and simultaneous stretching lines. The material is supplied globally in free-flowing pellets.
Fakuma, the international trade fair for plastics processing, runs all week in Friedrichshafen, Germany.