‘Poly-feration’ of PE and PP innovation in packaging: Milliken

Milliken NPE HPN-715

NPE2018, the show that keeps giving, sparks the first in a new series of features reporting on a proliferation of polyethylene and polypropylene  products and packaging from major suppliers.

My preplanned NPE2018 itinerary on day one Monday May 7 began with meeting Herrin Hood, global marketing director of Milliken and Co.  (Spartanburg, SC), who pointed out the benefits of the next generation of Hyperform HPN nucleating agents for injection-molded containers (examples shown above).

HPN-715 gives PP improved stiffness—up to 10% higher than PP using other nucleators and up to 30% higher than non-nucleated PP—and 10% to 15% higher heat deflection temperature (HDT) or an increase of 5°C to 7°C/41°F to 45°F.

The former permits using less resin than previously through thin-walling and the latter gives PP more applicability for microwaveable containers, buckets, vehicle under-hood components and household appliance parts.
Milliken NPE Mallad ClearThe company also highlighted the NX UltraClear PP clarified with Milliken’s Millad NX 8000 clarifying agent, which gives PP glass-like transparency instead of the typical cloudy appearance.

Applicable for food and beverages from bakery to dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese, it’s also appropriate for containers for frozen foods and soups that delivers PP’s high temperature-resistance light weight, and easy recyclability. These ultra-clear containers are applicable for use from freezer to microwave and from cold fill to hot fill. For molders, it offers simplified processing versus some other resins in these markets.

PLASTEC Minneapolis 2018 held October 31-November 1 is part of the Midwest’s largest advanced design and manufacturing event that also includes MinnPack brings you the latest in materials and additives, injection molding, rapid prototyping, coatings, automation, packaging and more. For details, visit PLASTEC Minneapolis.

The company shared new research demonstrating that consumers prefer NX UltraClear packaging for four reasons:

  1. It allows them to clearly see the quality of the food product inside.
  2. They like the convenience of being able to put it in the microwave and/or freezer.
  3. Many consumers said they would save and reuse NX UltraClear packaging for food storage if it had a replaceable lid.
  4. They also appreciate its easy recyclability.

Hood says these enhanced properties along with environmental and cost benefits reposition PP as a replacement for PET—PP weighs less—and polystyrene packaging.

Because NX UltraClear processes at lower temperatures than traditional clarified PP, manufacturing costs are lower. Milliken claims food manufacturers save money on both materials and shipping. A balance of impact strength and stiffness means there is less waste from spoiled product through the transportation cycle.

In some cases, food manufacturers can transition from other materials to NX UltraClear using existing molds, allowing that change to be made in a highly cost-effective way, Milliken reports. It also offers good sealing properties with standard multilayer polyolefin films without additional adhesives.

PP also has a special consumer-engaging attribute. “There’s also the pleasing, softer tactile feel that PP offers,” added Hood.Milliken Jarden UltraGuard Bottle

Lastly and during NPE2018 in conjunction with bottle supplier jARDEN Plastic Solutions (Greer, SC) and molding equipment vendor SACMI Group (Des Moines, IA), Milliken also jointly featured a revolutionary new high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pharmaceutical bottle that promotes sustainability through 28% material light-weighting and production efficiency. Uniform wall thickness is due to SACMI’s proprietary Compression Blow Forming (CBF) equipment. The bottle also offers Milliken’s UltraGuard additive high-barrier performance. The bottles are strong and light, use less energy to manufacture and generate less scrap.

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