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Toray jumps into metallized PET breach

Toray Plastics (America) Inc. responded to the global metallized PET shortage with its Torayfan PC3, an advanced metallized polypropylene film, which the company says “delivers twice the moisture barrier and three times the oxygen barrier of previous generations of Torayfan metalized OPP.” It is also ideal for metalized PET and foil replacement in tri-laminations.

In addition to its excellent moisture- and oxygen-barrier durability, PC3 film is said to offer significant economic advantages, in terms of yield, when compared with metallized PET and foil substrates typically used in laminations. Toray is offering much shorter lead times with its Torayfan PC3 than metallized PET.

Applications for high-barrier cold-seal and buried-barrier web include packaging for candy bars, frozen food pouches, and stand-up pouches.

Franco Chicarella, product manager, Torayfan Division, explained, “PC3 metallized OPP film is exceeding our customers’ expectations. CPGs and converters are discovering that PC3 film is fit for use in metallized PET and foil applications owing to its superior moisture barrier and improved oxygen barrier, as compared with traditional metallized OPP films. PC3 film gives them the barrier durability they need to serve their customers and weather the crisis, a welcome benefit in cost savings, and faster delivery. We think there will be long-term adopters among those choosing PC3 metallized OPP film.”

One converter of PET film, Vacumet Metallized Plastic (Austell, GA), a Scholle Company, released a statement in August regarding the global PET film shortage, calling it a “critically short supply,” and noting that “rising prices have become a secondary challenge” to securing a “stable material supply,” which is the primary focus.

“Vacumet has been forced to increase prices three times in 2010, with current levels for metallized film approaching unprecedented levels,” said the company’s statement. “Unfortunately we expect this trend to continue well into 2011 and possibly beyond due to a variety of events occurring both regionally and globally.”

Vacumet’s Kent Kisselle, director of Market Segments, cited three primary drivers of the shortage:
• Increased global demand for PET films in non-packaging applications and market segments, including electronics and photovoltaic/solar components.
• Lag in the capitalization and start-up of new film manufacturing capacity due to the 2008/09 recession.
• Anti-dumping action brought on by U.S. producers of PET film against manufacturers based in China, Taiwan, South Korea, India and Brazil, forcing the exit of certain suppliers from the U.S. market place.

Kisselle noted in the press release that Vacumet is taking steps to mitigate the risks of the shortage to its customers including “broadening the band width” of its PET film supply chain, fast-tracking R&D efforts on new metallized barrier technologies and materials, and working closely with current vendors to secure credible forward delivery schedules. “In addition, we are fast-tracking qualification of new materials and suppliers to ensure supply and keep rising prices in check,” he stated.
Kisselle was not available to comment beyond his comments in the August release. Clare Goldsberry

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