European plastics giant Borealis is targeting the European sports drinks market with a new faster-drying polypropylene grade for hinge closures, BorPure RF490MO.
The trademarked product, which the company says will save processors time and money, and reduce their carbon footprint is particularly suited to beverage applications, especially sports caps with integrated hinges.
Tests comparing the new grade with its existing Borpure RE420MO product showed that BorPure RF490MO allowed a saving in cycle time of up to 10%, Vienna-headquartered Borealis said.
The company was able to achieve a cycle time of 12.3 seconds for BorPure RF490MO, compared to RE420MO's 13.6 seconds, so a 1.2 seconds saving in cooling time.
As the product is highly fluid, it gives a smoother production cycle and enables converters to use 20% lower barrel temperatures than in standard conditions. This change contributes to faster crystallisation.
Smaller carbon footprints
And the reductions in temperature allows converters to use up to 5% less energy, creating cost reductions and giving a reduced carbon footprint, Borealis claimed.
Borealis, a leading European provider of chemical and innovative plastics solutions, said that the new transparent and non-opaque coloured closures also offered excellent colour stability thanks to Borealis' proprietary nucleation technology (BNT).
This ensures that customers need not optimise process conditions to control the dimensional specifications.
And impact performance of existing random polypropylene grades is retained, the firm said, with high-level transparency achieved despite the low processing temperatures.
Stiffness and stability
The product also has superior stiffness and impact balance, offering 20-30% higher stiffness levels and dimensional colour stability in tests, Borealis said.
This high stiffness potentially allows down-gauging by 10%, without losing overall mechanical properties of the final product at reduced wall thickness.
Rainer Höfling, Borealis vice president, business unit moulding, said: “Supporting the sustainability goals of our customers and their markets is a cornerstone of Borealis’ research and development efforts.
“The launch of BorPure RF490MO offers closure converters new opportunities to realise the visual and performance requirements of their customers, their own need for improved manufacturing efficiency and the possibility to reduce their environmental impact in one solution.”
BorPure grades were approved for use in general food contact applications, he added.
Borealis' (2011 turnover: €7.1bn, $8.73bn) offers a product portfolio for applications such as bottles, thin wall packaging, caps and closures, transport packaging, houseware and healthcare.