ExxonMobil has developed a new Paxon™ HDPE grade, SP5504, which offers a paradigm shift in the properties normally associated with the currently available unimodal HDPE resins. Offering a step-change in ESCR (Environmental Stress Cracking Resistance) performance without compromising stiffness, impact, top load performance, or processability, Paxon™ SP5504 is ideal for household and industrial chemical (HIC) bottles and containers for products like bleach, wipes, and agricultural chemicals.
“Until now, converters have often had to compromise to get the right ESCR performance of blow moulded HDPE bottles and containers,” said Dr. James Stern, HDPE business development manager, North America & EMEAF, ExxonMobil. “But, because there is no compromise in density or melt index, Paxon™ SP5504 enables converters to create cost-effective, innovative packaging solutions for household and industrial chemicals.”
In terms of performance, processability and value-based performance, Paxon™ SP5504 fills the space between unimodal and bimodal HDPE grades. With its superior performance of Paxon™ SP5504, it can be used as a drop-in solution for unimodal HDPE but with a better balance of properties, or it can be used to replace bimodal HDPE grades in applications that have had to be over-engineered to obtain a desired balance of ESCR and stiffness, according to Dr. Stern.
Paxon™ SP5504 enables the production of multiple applications from standard blow moulding through to more demanding HIC type applications, plus more complex moulded designs can be fabricated with this one material. Brand owners can now be more creative with their packaging designs, while converters can reduce polymer inventories.
An added bonus of using Paxon™ SP5504 that is being further researched is that PCR (post-consumer recyclate) content can be increased with minimal impact on its properties. “Blow moulded HDPE parts typically contain PCR in the core of multi-layer bottles and containers,” said Mark Canright, global polyolefin product technology, ExxonMobil. “In California, for example, the current mandate for PCR content in blow moulded HDPE parts is 25 percent and this is expected to rise in the next year. But, adding PCR can impact the properties of the virgin material, such as ESCR and top load. Paxon™ SP5504 enables converters to add even more PCR without significantly compromising the properties of the finished parts.”
With the industry driving towards increased recycling of post-consumer plastic waste (PCR), ExxonMobil has demonstrated value-in-use at PCR levels at and above 25 percent, which may help brand owners and converters to meet changing sustainability targets.
Dr. Stern explained that ongoing commercial tests and trials with converters and brand owners are proving highly successful, so we are confident about the interest this new solution will generate across the value chain.
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