MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Plastic Industry Co. Ltd., (or SPI) has leveraged its close, working relationship with additives supplier Milliken & Company to develop a clear, anti-fogging polypropylene (PP) lid for its microwaveable food packaging, according to SpecialChem.
Using Milliken’s Millad NX 8000 clarifier, the two parties have produced an UltraClear polypropylene (PP) resin that delivers on all the performance promises for ready-meal packaging, while also offering additional processing benefits. SPI also recently began using Milliken’s Hyperform HPN performance additives in its PP formulations, as well.
“By using Milliken’s additives, we are able to thermoform our products at a lower processing temperature, which allows us to reduce our energy use,” said Mr Tosho Wang, president of SPI. “At the same time,” he said, “these additives allow SPI to produce a thinner PP lid without affecting rigidity, which in turn helps to reduce plastic usage while increasing output.”
Saving energy during processing is a major plus for SPI, which runs dozens of thermoforming machines in its Taiwan plant.
The aim has been to replace oriented polystyrene (OPS) in this key application, but it wasn’t easy to find a way to get the highly recyclable PP to meet all the necessary performance requirements while also retaining the clarity and non-yellowing aesthetics that are vital to appealing to consumers on the grocery store shelves.
“Milliken’s additives produce an UltraClear PP that prevents yellowing, reduces oxidation reaction, and extends the shelf life of packaged product,” added Kua Cheng Huat, Milliken sales manager for Taiwan. But its crystal clarity is one of the most important features.
SPI, which now uses Milliken clarifiers in all its UltraClear™ PP packaging products, says it plans in the future to also explore using the material to expand the use of PP in more food applications, including some that currently use polyethylee terephthalate (PET). When it comes to thermoformed PP food packaging for South Plastic Industry, the way forward is clear and involves further close collaboration with Milliken.
As MRC reported earlier, in September 2020, Milliken (Spartanburg, North Carolina) said it had joined the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition (PRC), an industry collaboration launched in July by The Recycling Partnership (TRP) aimed at improving recovery and recycling of PP in the US.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,363,850 tonnes in January-November, 2021, up by 25% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.
Milliken is an innovation company that has been exploring, discovering, and creating ways to enhance people’s lives since 1865. The company creates coatings, specialty chemicals, and advanced additive and colorant technologies that transform the way we experience products from automotive plastics to children's art supplies.