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June 1, 2008

9 Min Read
TPE replaces PVC in tubes, films

TPE replaces PVC in tubes, films

Versaflex CL E95 thermoplastic elastomer was developed for markets requiring a clear, sterilizable, low-extractable material with no phthalates. Target applications include FDA and medical tubing, drug storage and delivery, face masks, and infant-care products.

Addressing growing consumer and regulatory concern surrounding the plasticizer, GLS Corp. (McHenry, IL) has launched a new phthalate-free thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) in its specialty Versaflex line. Called Versaflex CL E95 TPE, the material is a phthalate- and plasticizer-free TPE offering water clarity, sterilization capability, and low extractables.

Targeting polyvinyl chloride (PVC) applications, PolyOne company GLS believes the material is well-suited for a variety of extruded tubing and films, as well as blowmolded bags, containers, toys, and infant-care items.

Joe Kutka, GLS technology launch manager, says the material is FDA approved, and can be autoclaved without losing its clarity. Proposed restrictions in PVC, and the restriction of six phthalates in California by 2009 with outright bans in Europe, promoted the development, with Kutka saying that the material is currently at a hardness of 95 Shore A, with 60 Shore A within reach, getting greater flexibility as the material softens. Kutka says the material could be considered a modified polyolefin and will process in a similar manner. After launching the material in Anaheim at MD&M West (organized by MPW parent Canon Communications), GLS partnered with Swiss firm Rommelag (Buchs) and German blow-fill-seal machine company kocher-plastik Maschinenbau GmbH (Sulzbach-Laufen) to exhibit the material at the international packaging show Interpack (April 24-30; Düsseldorf, Germany).

In terms of properties, the material has a specific gravity of 0.90, with tensile strength at break of 2500 psi and elongation at break of 575%. GLS says it is autoclave and radiation stable with clarity/haze of GLS Corp., McHenry, IL, U.S.A.; +1 815-385-8500; www.glscorporation.comGrade puts stop to sag in PE100 pipesThis producer has come out with a low-sagging PE100 for thick-wall pressure pipes. Grade XLS12B high-density polyethylene enables the molten polymer to resist flowing against gravity. The optimization of low sagging resistance permits pipes to be extruded within tighter tolerances at high capacities. It also limits the startup scrap often associated with incorrect diameter and tolerances. This grade can be used for seawater transport to fish farms, desalination plants, waste water, potable water, and slurry transport for the mining industry.Total Petrochemicals, Brussels, Belgium; +32 2-288-3143; www.totalpetrochemicals.comRESINS/COMPOUNDSCost savings achieved with long-glass-fiber polypropylene

A comparison of competitive long-glass-fiber granulates following two minutes in a rotary cutter shows TechnoFiber granulate (left) exhibits little breakdown.

A long-glass-fiber (LGF) reinforced polypropylene (PP) from the TechnoFiber range, PP-LGF30, has been selected to substitute for a nylon 6 with short glass fibers in a crossbeam for a new subcompact car. The decision in favor of this PP material, which is LGF-reinforced at a rate of 30%/wt, was prompted by its price advantage over the previously used PA6 GF30 sourced from a competitor.

“Raw material cost savings of up to 40% can be achieved,” says Liborius Flöper, the company’s head of marketing. In addition, no changes to the mold were required so that the material can be a simple drop-in replacement during ongoing production. Flöper says the mechanical properties of the finished crossbeam from the PP LGF30 compound are equivalent to those of the short-glass-fiber- reinforced nylon 6 molding in typical operating temperatures. Since PP has a low density, the overall weight of the component is reduced.

TechnoCompound GmbH, Bad Sobernheim, Germany; +49 6751-856-05392;

TPO elastomers as an alternative to styrenic block copolymers

Teknor Apex’s Telcar olefin block copolymers are suitable for applications in toys, tools, and refrigeration sealing, among other areas, competing with styrenic block copolymer TPEs.

A family of thermoplastic olefin (TPO) elastomers that reportedly exceeds the performance and softness of conventional TPOs, while also exhibiting processing and property advantages over a wide range of thermoplastics elastomers (TPEs), has been launched. Teknor Apex’s Telcar OBC (olefin block copolymer) compounds blend a rigid polyolefin and Dow’s Infuse OBC—the culmination of a deal between the compounder and the resin company. Telcar differs from other TPOs, which conventionally have rubber phases consisting of ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber or random ethylene copolymers, with Teknor billing Telcar as a true alternative to styrenic block copolymer TPEs. The company says the materials feature enhanced physical properties, processability, and versatility, in terms of the hardness range and fabrication techniques.

In terms of specific mechanical property performance, the company says Telcar OBC compounds provide more rubber-like elasticity at compression set of 70°C, with greater tensile strength, tear strength, and elongation. In addition, Teknor Apex says Telcar will be available in a broad range of Shore A hardnesses, from the single digits to 90 and above.

From a performance standpoint, the manufacturer says Telcar OBC compounds exhibit superior compression set, heat-aging performance, and chemical resistance. In terms of appearance, the company says Telcar OBC compounds produce a smooth, silky feel well suited for soft-touch grips and surfaces. Going forward, Teknor Apex said in a release this first new group of OBC-based TPOs is “just a beginning” of what it expects to be an ongoing collaboration.

Teknor Apex Co., Pawtucket, RI, U.S.A.; +1 401-725-8000; www.teknorapex.com

PS poses alternative to blowmolded PET, HDPE

Blowmolded by Alpla, these PS bottles could pose an alternative to PET or even HDPE.

BX 3580 impact-resistant polystyrene (PS) is marketed as an alternative to PET and HDPE for blowmolded packaging. The material can be processed via injection blowmolding and injection stretch blowmolding, as can PET. The supplier predicts it may find application in bottles for milk and yoghurt beverages—commonly extrusion blowmolded of HDPE, or stretch blowmolded from PET. Polystyrene’s lower density compared to PET’s means processors likely can cut material use by up to 25%. Also, PS does not require drying; PET does.

“We have filed a patent application for this process and will continue to be involved in this realm,” said Jaroslaw Michniuk, head of marketing for standard styrenics at BASF.

BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany; +49 621-600; www.basf.de

LLDPE grade provides tough film for sacks

Butene linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) grade EFDA7048 targets heavy-duty shipping sacks, liners, and film with heavy gauges to provide strength and durability in packaging and during transport. The grade contains only antiblock. It produces a film that has a haze value of just 14%, good gloss, and printability. Its puncture resistance in a typical 25-µm film is 75 J/mm and dart impact is 100g, according to ASTM test method D1709A. Tensile strength measured in both machine and transverse directions (MD/TD) is 34/26 MPa.

Equate Petrochemcial Co., Safat, Kuwait; +965 434-3666; www.equate.com

New PP grades target Asia bottle production

Purell random copolymer polypropylene (PP) resins have been developed in Asia specifically for use in injection stretch blowmolding (ISBM) and extrusion blowmolding (EBM) applications. Bottles produced by this company’s customers using the material have passed relevant China National Standards for Medical Packaging (YBB) requirements. Purell RP270M and RP271G are said to not only address regulatory requirements in the area, but also customer requirements for high performance, flexibility, and container stability.

The primary application area in which customers express interest is for intravenous (IV) bottles. Such bottles are replacing heavier and breakable glass containers. The grades have both thermal and chemical stability as well as being able to withstand autoclave sterilization temperatures of up to 121°C. They are produced by PolyMirae, a joint venture between Daelim (Yeosu, Korea) and this manufacturer, as well as a JV with HMC Polymers in Thailand.

LyondellBasell Industries, Rotterdam, Netherlands; +31 10-275-5500; www.lyondellbasell.com

Right properties offered by SIBS

A new SIBS (styrene-isoprene-butadiene-styrene) polymer grade is available for use in hot-melt adhesive labels. It offers what the producer says are economic and performance advantages compared to conventional technology grades. Its adhesion properties have a balance of tack, peel, shear adhesion, and resistance to flagging in label applications.

Like other SIBS polymers, this new grade is compatible with both isoprene and butadiene-based styrene block copolymers. The resin is also useful to improve the tack at low temperatures for food packaging. Its high diblock content and unusual polymer structure make it easy to convert into labels, with improved die-cutting compared to styrene isoprene styrene-based polymers.

Kraton Polymers, Houston, TX, U.S.A.; +1 281-504-4700; www.kraton.com

Compostable resin takes freeze

A polylactic acid-based polymer (PLA), CP-INJ-13, offers biodegradability during composting of what is claimed to be the first-ever such bioresin that is freeze-tolerant. The material is said to retain structural rigidity in freezing temperatures as low as -35°C for frozen food applications such as injection molded ice cream containers. The producer says it features good flexibility compared to other PLA-based products, tensile elongation that is about 10 times greater than conventional PLA grades, and a notched IZOD impact measurement of 2.5 lb-ft/in. It is certified as biodegradable and compostable in both the U.S. and Europe according to Biodegradable Products Institute, ASTM, and European Bioplastics (EN) standards.

Cereplast Inc., Hawthorne, CA, U.S.A.; +1 310-676-5000; www.cereplast.com

PPA passes potable water test

Two grades of DuPont’s Zytel get the green light for water heater fittings.

NSF International, the nonprofit consumer-protection group formerly named the National Sanitation Foundation, has certified two grades of Zytel HTN polyphthalamide (PPA) for potable hot water applications. Grades Zytel HTN51G35HSLR BK420 and HTN51G45HSLR BK420 are now certified under NSF/ANSI Standard 61, Drinking Water System Components—Health Effects for hot water contact for fittings, pipe, and various other parts such as valves or manifolds in contact with hot water. To receive this certification, material samples are tested at 82ºC (182ºF). The materials contain 35% or 45% glass-fiber reinforcement.

DuPont, Wilmington, DE, U.S.A.; +1 800-441-0575; plastics.dupont.com


Phosphite is free-flowing solid

Doverphos S9228 is a solid phosphite anti-oxidant that has a high molecular weight of 852, low volatility, and a high phosphorous content. It provides good thermal stability and low volatility at extended high-temperature conditions. The material has been developed to protect against discoloration and thermal degradation. This grade has good hydrolytic stability when exposed to accelerated humid aging conditions, says the producer. Because hydrolysis resistance is improved, the company reports that black specks are not formed, a condition that can happen with competitive phosphates.

Dover Chemical Corp., Dover, OH, U.S.A.; +1 330-365-3607; www.doverchem.com

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