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New HDPE a ‘Paradigm Shift’ for Blow-Molded Bottles and Containers, Says ExxonMobil

Paxon SP5504 reportedly boosts environmental stress cracking resistance without compromising stiffness, impact, top load performance, or processability.

Clare Goldsberry

February 11, 2021

2 Min Read
shopper in supermarket
Image: ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil has introduced a new Paxon HDPE grade that creates what the company calls a “paradigm shift” in properties normally associated with unimodal HDPE resins. Offering a “step change in environmental stress cracking resistance (ESCR) performance without compromising stiffness, impact, top load performance, or processability,” Paxon SP5504 is suited for household and industrial chemical (HIC) bottles and containers for bleach, wipes, agricultural chemicals, and similar products.

Paxon SP5504 enables the production of multiple applications from standard blow molding to more-demanding HIC-type applications. The material also enables the fabrication of complex molded designs. Brand owners can now be more creative with their packaging designs, while converters can reduce polymer inventories, said ExxonMobil’s announcement.

An added bonus of using Paxon SP5504, which is undergoing further research, is that post-consumer recyclate (PCR) content can be increased with minimal impact on its properties.

“Blow-molded HDPE parts typically contain PCR in the core of multi-layer bottles and containers,” said Mark Canright, Global Polyolefin Product Technology, ExxonMobil. “In California, for example, the current mandate for PCR content in blow-molded HDPE parts is 25%, and this is expected to rise in the next year. But adding PCR can impact the properties of virgin material, such as ESCR and top load. Paxon SP5504 enables converters to add even more PCR without significantly compromising the properties of the finished parts.”

With the industry driving toward increased recycling of post-consumer plastic waste, ExxonMobil has demonstrated value-in-use at PCR levels at and above 25%, which may help brand owners and converters to meet changing sustainability targets.

Dr. James Stern, HDPE Business Development Manager, North America, at ExxonMobil, commented: “This new product will be an ‘enabler’ for the value chain to create truly innovative solutions for blow-molded HDPE bottles and containers. Ongoing commercial tests and trials with converters and brand owners are proving highly successful, so we are confident about the interest this new solution will generate across the value chain.”

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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