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New polypropylene grades with superior properties

Source:Int'l Plastics News for Asia     Date:2021-04-23
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Polypropylene random coolymenrs are thermoplastic resins created by polymerizing propylene, offering excellent characteristics that allow for it to be used across a broad range of applications. The material is increasingly being preferred for food storage containers due to its superior impact resistance, good optical and flexibility characteristics.


In addition, the product offers value added properties such as gloss, transparency, light weight and heat resistance. It also helps in retaining food’s organoleptic properties. Furthermore, the global food containers industry was valued roughly at over US$ 110 billion in 2015 and is projected to cross US$ 175 billion over the projected timeframe, according to the report of Global Market Insights, thus posing demand for new materials with improved properties.

 

Ideal for rigid packaging

SOCAR Polymer has expanded its portfolio of highperformance polypropylene resins with the addition of its first pair of random copolymers. These resins are designed to yield rigid packaging via thin-wall injection moulding (TWIM), along with a host of other benefits.

 

The two new grades are RB 4545 MO (with a melt flow index of 45) and RB 6545 MO (with a melt flow index of 65). Those viscosities account for the majority of TWIM items made from random copolymers, according to Milliken, whose Millad® NX® 8000 family of clarifiers imparts many of the key properties to the resins.

 

SOCAR Polymer started using Milliken additives after they were recommended by its licensor. During product development, the company decided to completely redevelop its RCP grades intended for TWIM applications. The resin maker re-engineered its products and introduced Millad NX 8000 to its formulation recipe. Milliken provided samples for development, and the two parties met at the K 2019 trade show in Dusseldorf to confirm the plan to proceed.



 

The aim of these materials is to provide the best possible balance between processability, good mechanical and optical properties, along with high-end aesthetics and excellent safety of the final moulded products. The use of the Milliken New polypropylene grades with superior properties clarifier provides superb transparency and clarity to the resulting resins, which enables the replacement of other plastic materials with the highly recyclable PP.


Additionally, these Millad NX 8000-modified grades can be processed at lower temperatures, and for shorter cycle times, which translates into energy savings for the injection moulder.


This independently verified lower energy usage allows brand owners to apply the UL Environmental Claim Validation label on injection moulded packaging made with these PP resins, further emphasizing their sustainability commitment. These latest SOCAR Polymer PP grades also yield parts with an excellent balance between stiffness (rigidity) and impact resistance, as well as with good antistatic and mould-release properties. They are food contact-approved, use no organic peroxides, and abide by SOCAR Polymer’s zero-phthalate philosophy, meaning that no catalysts and chemicals containing phthalate compounds are used at any stage of production. The very good flowability of these grades make them ideal for hightransparency TWIM packaging applications such as caps and closures, containers and housewares.



RM1.jpg

SOCAR Polymer high performance polypropylene 

resins are ideal for rigid packaging.


Post-consumer PP for packaging

PACCOR, a global player in the packaging industry, is initiating technological change from linear to circular plastics.Thanks to a fruitful collaboration with Total, PACCOR is now able to produce polypropylene containers including recycled material of which 37% households’ waste, with mechanical and appearance properties equivalent to those of containers made of virgin resin for non-food applications.


In order to reach 100% of packaging containing recycled material by 2025, PACCOR decided to tackle, in collaboration with Total, the technical challenge of producing thermoformed PP containers using post-consumer resin. PACCOR and Total had to make use of all their formulation and processing expertise so that polypropylene packaging users can also start closing the recycling loop leading from one used container to a new one. “We are proud that our collaboration with Total enabled us to make this ground-breaking circular offering available to our customers, for non-food applications, and eager to start produce rPP containers for them,” explains Andreas Schuette, CEO of PACCOR.


Polypropylene packaging is very different depending on the application scope (food or non-food) and protection properties which induces a high variability in raw material made of post-consumer waste. That is why PACCOR is simultaneously exploring ways to further increase PCR content and is confident in its ability to offer, within months,polypropylene packaging with 50% of PCR. “We are very happy that Total could help PACCOR produce containers incorporating post-consumer polypropylene using our Total Circular compounds®. Our goal is to enlarge the accessible market for recycled plastics with high-performing products, which was demonstrated successfully through this project.


This is fully in line with Total’s ambition of producing 30% recycled polymers by 2030,” adds Jean Viallefont, Vice President Polymers Europe & Orient at Total.


PACCOR’s ambition is also to develop food approved rPP and to provide the polypropylene value chain with quality sorting solutions, such as the Digimarc Barcode, in order to deliver change at wide scale.


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