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Unipetrol develops resin to boost thermoformed rigid packaging

By Joe Whitworth , 08-Jan-2013

Unipetrol RPA has launched a resin which it claims significantly boosts the aesthetics and processing performance of thermoformed rigid packaging, such as beverage cups and yogurt pots.

Mosten FT005 is a bimodal polypropylene homopolymer (hPP) resin incorporating Milliken’s Hyperform HPN-600ei nucleating innovation with an antistatic agent.

The low melt flow HPP grade brings improved transparency and a glossy surface to end-products and processing properties ease parts production for converters, claim the developers.

Mosten FT005 is the result of a partnership between Unipetrol, its R&D center Polymer Institute Brno (PIB) and Milliken.

Resin trial

Greiner Packaging trialled Mosten FT005 on a production run for yogurt pots and found an improvement in transparency compared to competitive materials.

“It was important for Unipetrol and our researchers at PIB to involve Greiner early in the product testing stages, to ensure Mosten FT005 would achieve the results we were hoping for on actual thermoforming lines,” said Stanislav Jansky, PP Product Manager, Unipetrol RPA.

“As a result of working closely with all of the project partners, we can proudly offer our thermoforming customers a new resin that really boosts the optical properties of rigid packaging applications beyond existing levels.”

Project partnership

PIB provided technical support to Unipetrol throughout the development process including preparation of first laboratory samples and investigation of processing and mechanical properties.

Milliken helped with resin evaluation during initial production of thermoformed parts.

Hyperform HPN-600ei improves transparency in polypropylene by enhancing the crystallization process, creating a look that is noticeable in both single and stacked parts produced with the grade.

Increased speed of crystallization by HPN-600ei, with the bimodal nature of the Unipetrol PP, creates the potential to cut cycle time, raise productivity and reduce costs, the firms said.

An antistatic agent incorporated into the resin along with the Milliken additive eases the demolding of finished parts, which together with dimensional stability and reduced tendency to warp (thanks to isotropic shrinkage), leads to an improvement in product handling.
“The clear improvement in transparency achieved with Mosten FT005 will enable converters to improve the optical properties of their packaging solutions and create new opportunities for brand owners to increase the exclusivity of their products,” added Ivo Benda, executive, Greiner Packaging Slusovice s.r.o.