ExxonMobil has developed a new series of Exceed™ XP performance polyethylene (PE) grades that deliver remarkable mechanical performance with a combination of low density and fractional melt index (MI). Exceed™ XP 7021 and Exceed™ XP 7052 offer the value chain a combination of attributes that is currently not available in a single resin. This includes high levels of elasticity and holding force, puncture energy (up to 2.3 J/mil) and dart impact resistance (up to 900 gm on a 25.4 micron film).
ExxonMobil research and tests indicate that Exceed™ XP 7021 and Exceed™ XP 7052 also offer a combination of fractional MI and low density (0.911- 0.912 g/cm³) that is not available in the market today. This makes films with enhanced bubble stability and creates opportunities to increase output for converters.
“Extending the extreme performance of our Exceed™ XP portfolio to ‘never seen before’ levels, these new grades are designed to help the value chain create innovative solutions to meet specific applications needs,” said Michael Vinck, Global Polyethylene New Products Marketing Manager, ExxonMobil. “We are currently working closely with our value chain partners to develop film formulation solutions that many in the industry believe would only happen in the future but which, through collaboration, we are making possible today.”
Exceed™ XP 7021 and Exceed™ XP 7052 have been designed to offer levels of performance that enable converters to create innovative new films for stretch hood packaging, collation shrink, primary packaging, and greenhouse applications that previously were not possible.
Producers of stretch hood packaging films can now benefit from both high elastic recovery and high holding force. Thanks to the performance of Exceed™ XP 7021 and Exceed™ XP 7052 a compromise is no longer necessary, helping to enhance pallet stability for product protection and safety. The new performance PE grades also offer high puncture and dart impact resistance for less breakage, while delivering low haze which improves barcode and QR code reading. Ease of processing leads to excellent gauge control and the high elasticity provides forgiveness for less than perfect gauge profile. “Tests undertaken in collaboration with Signode, an industry-leading OEM and manufacturer of Lachenmeier® stretch hood equipment, resulted in a single resin Exceed™ XP 7-based solution,” said Vinck. “Although the film was co-extruded, it is a mono-material PE film contributing to its recyclability.”
Manufacturers of collation shrink films can offer their customers energy savings opportunities thanks to Exceed™ XP 7021 and Exceed™ XP 7052 which enable high shrink speeds at temperatures as low as 120°C. Films can protect sensitive products from excessive heat. The removal of cardboard trays is possible in many applications. “Films which exhibit MD and TD shrinkage at low temperatures, and can be processed on traditional blown film lines, are a rarity in the market,” said Vinck.
Primary packaging films made with Exceed™ XP 7021 and Exceed™ XP 7052 can help seal packages at low temperatures without blocking issues. Customers can reduce anti-block levels to improve coefficient of friction (COF) control and optical properties for better brand promotion. Designed for low seal initiation temperature (SIT) packaging applications, these PE polymers also enhance packaging toughness with best-in-class flex crack, extreme dart and puncture, while offering good optical properties. “Flex-crack resistance is so high, tests undertaken by ExxonMobil resulted in an average of 1 hole per ten thousand cycles,” said Vinck. “The combination of fractional MI and a 0.912 g/cm³ density helps prevent seal thinning without the addition of LDPE when compared to conventional sealing resins.”
Greenhouse films that are tough, clear, and soft can now be fabricated by converters due to the extreme dart and puncture resistance offered by Exceed™ XP 7021 and Exceed™ XP 7052. As a result, the greenhouse films have better integrity, reducing the risk of failure and premature breakage during installation and in-service. “Films made with these new grades offer farmers the opportunity to enjoy longer and better growing conditions for potentially higher crop yields, helping to meet the growing population’s need for food,” said Vinck.
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