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Move over APET, OPP ups the competition

July 6, 2006

1 Min Read
Move over APET, OPP ups the competition

This year''s recent NPE 2004 show in Chicago saw a bevy of activity centered on a tried-and-trusted technology, mono direction orientation of web [June 2006 MPW], which is providing material savings in the face of today''s high cost resins as well as improving end-product properties. Along comes another development from polymer producer Dow Chemical (Midland, MI) and orientation equipment producer Marshall & Williams, a division of Parkinson Technologies (Woonsocket, RI).

Parkinson, which says it has the exclusive rights to the patented Compression Roll Drawing (CRD) machine-direction orientation process, recently conducted a series of trials to test the technology on uniaxially oriented polypropylene (OPP) sheet. Properties testing and thermoforming were subsequently conducted at Dow''s TS&D facilities at its headquarters. CRD is the simultaneous compression and machine direction orientation of plastics material.

"We''ve known that CRD technology would enable production of thicker OPP sheet through low draw-ratio orientation," says Ken Forziati, Parkinson''s business development manager, "but we discovered additional property and processing enhancements." These included improved low temperature impact performance and reduced haze. Compared to traditional cast PP sheet in thermoforming applications, the CRD processed eliminated sag in OPP sheet, improved throughput through reduced cycle times, and increased sheet widths.

"With the ability to produce thicker oriented sheet, and through improved optics and processing enhancements, we also see a real potential for CRD technology to enable the use of Dow''s clarified PP resins in place of APET in many applications, with a material cost savings of perhaps 30% or more," Forziati says.

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