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Spartech Corp. unveils range of new technology and products at Pack Expo

Sheet extrusion processor Spartech Corp. rolled out a variety of new products and technologies at Pack Expo in Las Vegas, Oct. 5-7. The company is looking to answer the demand for environmentally responsible, sustainable polyvinyl chloride (PVC) replacements with two families of products: EnviroSeal and UltrosRenu. These materials provide solutions for RF tear, bar, and heat-seal blister and clamshell packaging for consumer, food, and medical products.

Clare Goldsberry

October 14, 2009

3 Min Read
Spartech Corp. unveils range of new technology and products at Pack Expo

Sheet extrusion processor Spartech Corp. rolled out a variety of new products and technologies at Pack Expo in Las Vegas, Oct. 5-7. The company is looking to answer the demand for environmentally responsible, sustainable polyvinyl chloride (PVC) replacements with two families of products: EnviroSeal and UltrosRenu. These materials provide solutions for RF tear, bar, and heat-seal blister and clamshell packaging for consumer, food, and medical products.
   
The polyethylene terephthalate (PET) EnviroSeal products contain 20% post-consumer recycled content for the EnviroSeal XP20 sheet grade. EnviroSeal also comes in XP30 and XP40 grades, and is available with certified pre- and post-consumer content. EnviroSeal products are FDA food-contact approved.
   

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This clamshell product can be made from either of Spartech's new PVC alternative materials, EnviroSeal or UntrosRenu.

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This poultry tray is formed from Spartech's new EnviroAir foam-core technology.

Spartech’s UltrosRenu family of products is produced from recycled PET. UltrosRenu is available in 90 Clear, 90 Blend, and 90 Blue Tint grades, and due to its density delivers a material yield advantage over PVC. UltrosRenu is available with certified pre-consumer content. Both EnviroSeal and UltrosRenu are marketed as sustainable, “drop-in” PVC replacements.
   
“Drop-in means these products are specifically designed to suit individual manufacturing processes, and require no tooling or capital expenditures on the part of the converter,” said Jonathan Cage, director of packaging development at Spartech. “We needed the performance expectations of the current materials, as well as cost effectiveness.”
   
Both EnviroSeal and UltrosRenu sustainable materials contain a proprietary blend of materials and are suited for several applications including blister packaging, clamshells, display boxes, containers, and graphic arts.
   
Cage said, “We set the criteria for sustainable products and worked for two years to derive these solutions. They were launched into the market in late April of this year.”
   
EnviroSeal XP20, XP30, and XP40 offer good clarity and performance and can be RF welded and heat-sealed to film or cards. UltrosRenu is also RF tear, bar, and heat sealable.
   
EnviroAir is a completely new technology said to reduce the weight of monolayer and co-extruded rigid plastic sheet and rollstock. EnviroAir helps improve sustainability while providing a yield advantage in thermoformed and converted products.
   
“EnviroAir is Spartech’s expanded materials technology in which we modify the cellular structure of rigid packaging materials,” explained Cage. “This allows us to produce sheet and rollstock similar in structural rigidity and dimensions to solid material, but with 10-50% reduced density. We maintain the performance characteristics with consistent cell structure and size.”
   
EnviroAir offers unique advantages over competing technologies, said the company. The technology can be applied to a wide range of rigid-packaging materials, targeting monolayer, co-extruded, and laminated products. Additionally, a foam core in the EnviroAir sheet gives Spartech the ability to extrude materials requiring less energy to thermoform, which are lighter in weight and improve thermal insulation. “Less use of hydrocarbon-based materials improves product sustainability, and this technology allows full use of regrind so the end product is fully recyclable,” Cage said. “We use a high-density foaming technology versus the traditional EPS technology, which is more of a process technology in which we modify the performance characteristics of the material.” —Clare Goldsberry

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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