Milliken & Company is highlighting the major advantages of its high-performance additives for packaging applications at PACK EXPO 2012, booth #4759, here in Chicago from Oct. 28-31. Milliken’s Millad® NX™ 8000 clarifying agents for polypropylene (PP) and Hyperform® nucleating agents for PP and polyethylene (PE) deliver notable improvements in appearance, performance, processability and sustainability.
Millad NX 8000 fourth-generation agents provide exceptional clarity and brightness while enabling PP to be processed at significantly lower temperatures than standard clarified PP, reducing energy use and associated carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Hyperform HPN-20E agents for PP and PE and Hyperform HPN-600ei agents for PP extrusion/thermoforming enable faster manufacturing speeds and provide isotropic shrinkage in formed parts.
“From resin manufacturers to consumers, each component of the packaging value chain wins with our clarifiers and nucleators,” said Jean Hall, business manager, Milliken & Company. “Plastics producers are enhancing and differentiating their materials by using our additives. Converters and processors are optimizing cycle times, cutting energy use and achieving better performance. Brand owners are leveraging the superior PE barrier properties provided by Hyperform HPN-20E agents to extend product shelf life or reduce packaging. And consumers love the clean, bright appearance of PP storage and food containers featuring our Millad NX 8000 clarifier.”
To demonstrate the measurable environmental benefits of Millad NX 8000 agents, Milliken is inviting visitors to use a special calculator – also available as a free app from the Apple® iTunes® Store – to gauge their anticipated energy savings from upgrading to these advanced clarifiers.
Milliken is displaying drink cups, food storage containers, housewares, caps and closures, pill vials, high density PE (HDPE) bottles and dry foods packaging used for cereal, rice and fruit, among other products. The company’s ClearTint® transparent colorants are also featured at the booth.
Milliken Technologies Wrap up Multiple Benefits
Millad NX 8000 agents set a new benchmark for clarification of PP, providing optical quality comparable to “glass clear” polymers. It also allows thicker parts to approach the clarity of glass or amorphous polymers, providing greater design freedom for packaging manufacturers. From a performance standpoint, PP clarified with Millad NX 8000 agents provides a good balance of stiffness and impact and resistance to heat and chemicals.
Importantly, Millad NX 8000 clarifiers allow PP to be processed at significantly lower temperatures of 190 C to 200 C, a reduction of up to 40 degrees compared with less-advanced clarifiers. Not only do these lower temperatures reduce energy consumption by 15 to 20 percent on average, they also shorten cooling time and thus, overall cycle time, leading to improved productivity. Milliken testing has demonstrated cycle time reductions of up to 15 percent.
Hyperform HPN-20E nucleator also cuts cycle times to lower system costs. This additive raises the peak crystallization temperature of PE and significantly increases the rate of crystallization (half time is decreased), allowing injection molded and extrusion blow-molded parts to be de-molded faster and helping to increase output in blown film.
The change in crystal orientation of the nucleated polymer also improves barrier properties of HDPE blown film and extrusion blow-molded applications by 20 to 40 percent. Brand owners using PE treated with Hyperform HPN-20E can either extend the shelf life of products using film of existing thickness or save packaging by adopting a thinner-gauge film while maintaining current shelf life.
Finally, controlled crystallization leads to small crystal size, which enhances optical properties of the PE resin.