Sustainable bioplastics developer Secos Group Ltd. announced today that it has executed a license agreement with MiniFAB Pty Ltd. to co-develop a micro-engineered system for the manufacture of breathable films from non-breathable polymeric films. Both companies are headquartered in Melbourne, Australia.
MiniFAB is specialized in the development and manufacture of polymer-based micro-engineered products and is a world leader in custom designed and manufactured microfluidic and medical devices.
The new partnership will provide Secos with exclusive access to MiniFAB’s microtechnology and will allow it to produce a “first-of-its-kind” breathable film for the hygiene and protective garment markets by modifying Secos’ existing plants. This will significantly raise the performance and quality of several of the company’s film products, according to a press release.
This partnership follows 18 months of rigorous research and testing, said the company. A sample of the new breathable cast film was sent to a key client, added Secos, which has resulted in a finished baby diaper that achieves market-ready levels of breathability.
“We have devised a way to apply MiniFAB’s cutting-edge technology to our world-class eco-friendly bioplastics to achieve a true breakthrough in terms of producing breathable films that will provide manufacturers of hygiene and protective garment products the opportunity to offer zoned areas of breathability, delivering new levels of innovation in their products,” said Secos Managing Director Stephen Walters. This technology will enable Secos to manufacture new products that are tougher, thinner and more flexible and that offer great breathability, he added.
The company plans to roll out the new technology across Secos’ plants next year in Australia, China and Malaysia, with a view to delivering first customer orders in early 2018.
The first practical application will be a strong film for diapers that is breathable only in the areas where breathability is required. The ultimate goal, said Secos, is to apply the technology to making compostable films breathable. “This has never been achieved before and should represent a significant value driver for Secos as we meet the market demand for more sustainable hygiene products,” said Walters.
Formed through the merger of Cardia Bioplastics and Stellar Films Group in April 2015, Secos develops, manufactures and markets proprietary cast films and patented renewable resource-based materials and finished products derived from its proprietary technology for the global packaging and plastic products industries.