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Sealant resins optimized for converters, consumers

Trio of new resins cover the gamut of high-performance requirements for food and other flexible packaging applications that include a challenging cube container.

Rick Lingle, Senior Technical Editor

November 27, 2017

4 Min Read
Sealant resins optimized for converters, consumers

There’s nothing like new resins to draw attention, but what about three new resins? And what if one of those has been commercialized in a durable and complex flexible cube container that requires a whopping 15 seals?

It’s yet another introduction this fall from Nova Chemicals Corp. (Calgary, Canada), a major supplier of polyethylene in the Americas, following the supplier’s other new product line we reported on recently (Butene film resins from Nova Chemicals promise higher efficiency).  This time the company debuts three new high-performance sealant resins for multilayer film structures. The cutting-edge octene resins were developed using the company’s proprietary Advanced SCLAIRTECH technology, enabling robust physical properties and performance for demanding sealant applications. The three are:

SPs116, an ultra-versatile, all-around performer for applications from liquid, dry, and frozen foods to the special demands of meat, cheese and poultry. The resin’s breadth of properties allows converters to substitute it for a wide range of resins, including metallocene linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), and to use the new resin in several different layers of a coextruded structure whether sealant, abuse, skin or tie layer.

VPsK914, an ultra-durable, abuse-resistant resin for the most demanding packaging applications that combines a low-seal initiation temperature combined with a broad sealing window. It offers triple the toughness of a typical PE sealant resin.

SPsK919, developed for the unique needs of the heavy-duty sack market and offers an exceptional balance of physical properties, sealing, and processability. Like VPsK914, this resin offers a low seal-initiation temperature and broad sealing window, resulting in strong seals that maintain package integrity.

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The new resins share these common benefits:

  • For converters, a wide sealing and hot tack window improves packaging operations;

  • Exceptional clarity with low haze and high gloss delivers package shelf appeal for consumers;

  • A superior balance of stiffness and toughness allows structure redesign to improve package integrity and durability, including drop impact resistance, in demanding applications such as hot-fill and institutional packaging.

“The need for sealants is extensive and wide ranging,” says Mark Kay, performance films marketing leader. “These new grades cover the gamut of performance requirements for food packaging and other flexible film applications. We’re excited to share them with our customers and help them improve their current packaging manufacturing, and even enter new markets and applications.”

PlasticsToday sought more details about the resins, which are commercially available in the United States and throughout North America.

What’s the background to the launch?

Kay: Talking with our customers and conducting other market research, we knew there are unmet needs for sealant resins for high-performance flexible packaging. These resins help to address those needs.

Possibly our toughest question: Which do you expect to be the most popular of the three?

Kay: Each of these products has been well received for different reasons:

The VPsK914 product is popular because of its ultra-high performance – it can meet the most demanding sealant layer applications today. For example, VPsK914 is ideal for sharp or heavy-product packaging on automated lines such as for crunchy granola and bone-in chicken.

SPsK919 is popular with heavy duty sack and shipping customers because of its strength, seal properties and resistance to deformation, as noted above.

The SPs-116 series is popular because it’s multi-featured and very easy to process. It is an all-around performer that can be used in any layer of the structure, and can allow film producers and converters to consolidate the number of resins they purchase. It offers excellent seal, durability and optical properties.

What’s the commercial status?

Kay: Many of our film customers are using these new products. There has been high interest from our customers and the marketplace because these products are addressing unmet needs for combinations of key sealant layer properties. The sealant is responsible for containing the goods inside, and is key to maintaining physical package integrity overall.

A case in point is customer ConservaCUBE that designed a unique cube-shaped, stackable, stand-up, flexible package for heavy products weighing up to 55 pounds. The customer needed a very durable resin that could meet the needs of this new flexible package—which has up to 15 seals—and still maintain its shape and optics. The resin’s creep performance, a critical attribute for heavy-duty packaging that measures resistance to product deformation, is best-in-class among PE heavy duty sack resins on the market today.

ConservaCUBE chose SPsK919 for its seal properties and strength characteristics and is currently using the resin in commercial flexible packaging for dry mortar mix and pool salt. The resin properties allow these heavy products to stack in shipping and at retail without crushing, tearing or distorting the cube packaging. The durability of the resin enables the package stacked on the bottom to look as great as the one on the top of the stack.

In addition, by partnering with Nova Chemicals and using one of our new, top-quality sealant grade resins, ConservaCUBE was able to move from a mixed-material package to recyclable, all-polyethylene (PE) solution.

The resins can be researched using Nova Chemical’s interactive product tool.

About the Author(s)

Rick Lingle

Senior Technical Editor, Packaging Digest and PlasticsToday

Rick Lingle is Senior Technical Editor, Packaging Digest and PlasticsToday. He’s been a packaging media journalist since 1985 specializing in food, beverage and plastic markets. He has a chemistry degree from Clarke College and has worked in food industry R&D for Standard Brands/Nabisco and the R.T. French Co. Reach him at [email protected] or 630-481-1426.

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