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Total-ly new HDPE grade aimed at stretch blowmolding applications

Its official introduction happens next week at the K show in Düsseldorf, Germany, but Total Petrochemicals already has shared some details on a new grade of high-density polyethylene that can be processed on stretch blowmolding machinery at rates comparable to those achieved with PET. The plastics supplier (Brussels, Belgium) will introduce to the trade show audience its new SB 1461 grade of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is formulated to run at better than 1700 bottles/cavity/hour rates, on Sidel's stretch blowmolding (SBM) machinery.

This appears a clear challenge by Sidel, with Total's help, to machine manufacturers of rotary wheel equipment as well as to manufacturers of long-stroke machinery. Sidel is best known for its SBM units for processing of PET but the company has a long history of processing polyolefins; MPW got a brief look at a machine for these as it was being built some years ago during a visit to the French manufacturer.

According to Total, trials with HDPE SB 1461 on different equipment from Sidel have been performed with positive results. High bottle throughput of around 1700 bottles/cavity/hour and higher on Sidel's SBO Universal machine were reached with what Total officials describe as "an excellent thickness distribution." Total Petrochemicals' HDPE grade SB 1461 combines smooth injection molding into preforms with the necessary melt strength for the stretching/blowing phase.

Total says the stretch blowmolded HDPE bottles show a clear increase of rigidity in comparison to extrusion blowmolded ones. This rigidity combines with drop test resistance to allow for further down gauging, so that HDPE dairy bottles produced by SBM can be about 20% lighter than extrusion blowmolded dairy bottles currently in commercial use. In addition, reports Total, high definition mold engraving even improves the design flexibility and bottle look.

The newly developed grade is compatible with the established HDPE recycling stream. The grade introduced at the K is targeted especially towards dairy and other food/beverage applications but Total says it already is working on a new HDPE grade with the necessary Environmental Stress Crack Resistance (ESCR) for household chemicals and personal care packaging.

During the K, Total and Sidel will hold presentations on Oct. 27 and Oct. 28 to discuss the material and its processing performance. Those presentations are from 11:00-12:00 each day, followed by a lunch, in hall 6, Room A-3. To confirm your interest in attending the presentation, notify Christel van der Wielen at email: [email protected].

Total also has a stand at the show (Stand 6C43) as does Sidel (13B59). [email protected]

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