Home » Collaboration Brings Clear Polypropylene to Life
Kiefel, SML, Braskem and Milliken will combine their machine and material innovations to bring the powerful material substitution possibilities of clear polypropylene (PP) to life. Highly transparent, deep-draw cups produced live by Kiefel on its productivity-boosting systems will let visitors experience first-hand the exceptional high clarity and performance that can be achieved with Braskem’s Inspire 224 PP containing Milliken’s innovative clarifying agent, Millad NX 8000.
Clear PP is revolutionizing the range of applications able to take advantage of the lightweight and efficiency benefits of polypropylene. Through their partnership at K 2013, the four companies will demonstrate the performance potential and how state-of-the-art machinery can maximize the efficiency of using PP, highlighting the material’s viability as an alternative to less sustainable materials.
Cold drinking cups produced with ultra-clarified homopolymer Inspire 224 from Braskem, the largest producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas, display revolutionary clarity levels. The clear PP capitalizes on the superior optics and transparency generated by Millad NX 8000 to achieve high gloss and optimum haze and clarity for cups and shallow draw / low orientation applications, such as cold drink cup lids. It has full FDA clearance for conditions A to H. The overall engineering and good stiffness of Inspire 224 compared to random copolymers supports excellent processability for the extrusion and thermoforming market.
Talking about the application, Joe Paolucci, Braskem America marketing director, says: "Milliken additives help to provide the product enhancements that are sometimes required to successfully compete in higher end specialty applications."
Extrusion equipment specialists SML will utilize this ease of processability to produce a film sheet in-house for Kiefel on one of its state-of-the-art lines. The SML High Performance extrusion line incorporates High Speed Extrusion (HSE) technology and typically produces more than 1000kg/h of high quality sheet. This ensures that the energy consumption per kg sheet is very low.
A Smart Parallel Gap (SPG) roll, designed by SML, ensures a very tight thickness tolerance and easy winding and unwinding of the sheet. Homogenous cooling creates a controlled crystalline structure for the finished sheet.
Kiefel, the experts in processing plastic film materials, will use the extruded sheet to perform the demo runs on its latest efficiency-focused systems for the food industry – the high performance cup pressure forming machine Thermorunner KTR 5 SPEED combined with the innovative Best stacking system, developed by Kiefel specifically for the food industry. This stacking system does not include any wear parts and therefore guarantees a high product safety.
Best adds to the already very efficient forming and punching stations of the KTR 5 SPEED by stacking cups vertically. This creates optimal conditions for the next automated steps, such as sleeving and packaging, saving time and increasing productivity. When used together, converters can reach almost the same cycle times when processing PP as when processing PET.
Live product runs will take place at the Kiefel GmbH Booth in Hall 03 C92 throughout K 2013. Visitors can also check out the samples at the Braskem Booth (Hall 6 D27) and the Milliken Booth (Hall 6 A27).
What’s changed about this year’s PACK EXPO International because of the pandemic? Nothing! Well, just the name. And format. But you can still make connections and see the latest trends. Get the lowdown on PACK EXPO Connects with Flexible Packaging’s preview in the October issue! Also, see how Midwest values helped bring two companies together when one of them was looking to bring pouch converting in-house. Find out what’s driving automation investments for converters and much more!