By: Mike Verespej
November 30, 2012
CHICAGO (Nov. 30, 1:45 p.m. ET) — In its continuing effort to provide better flexible packaging solutions through its materials, Dow Chemical Co. has developed a new family of resins for blown and cast film lines, added two new resins to its Dowlex resin line and introduced a solvent-based adhesive for high-temperature laminates.
All three currently have limited applications and are just now rolling out nationwide.
“For us, the theme is about solutions for better packaging with two main pillars: innovations and collaboration,” said Dave Kyle, director of marketing for North America Performance Packaging, in a phone interview after Pack Expo, which was held in Chicago. “That is how we develop new products and new technologies and work up and down the value chain with stakeholders and brand owners to deliver solutions for them.”
He said Dow has focused its efforts around “sustainability — doing more with less, increased profitability — more efficiency and increased output, and consumer convenience. These are the three large trends we’re seeing.”
Its Adcote L 76-185/CR 8111B solvent-based polyethylene adhesive, introduced at the show, is an example.
“You get better throughput, which reduces converting costs, and brand owners get improved packaging,” said Kyle. “The throughput increase is substantial. It’s not a trivial 10-15 percent.”
He said the adhesive is designed for retort pouches made from multi-layers of flexible laminate; liquid packaging; as well as some industrial applications such as cable wrap.
“We think it will be used for liquid packaging, soups, rice, pet foods and high-end coffees,” Kyle said.
“This is a high-end adhesive that can be used for high-temperature laminate use in flexible packaging and for industrial laminations,” he said. “It is an example of developing technology for emerging markets like retort packaging. It is less likely to blister, and it increases shelf life.”
“It is very much a market-driven development as we see less and less cans and a big demand to replace cans with flexible packages—which drives the need for more demanding adhesives to seal the package,” said Kyle. “We are very positive about this. It gets at the issue of convenience and sustainability as you will have less waste going into the recycling stream.”
Similarly, Dow’s Agility processing accelerators for low density polyethylene film are designed to provide a better flexible pouch and to reduce costs for converters through improved bubble stability, which will permit increased throughput.
The Agility processing accelerator resins are targeted as a replacement for conventional LDPE resins in heavy-duty shipping sacks and also in flexible packaging where there is a need for clarity and transparency.
“You will get 10-15 percent more throughput using these resins” compared to conventional LDPE resins, said Scott Collick, technology services and development director for North American Performance Packaging at Dow. “That is a tremendous advantage that allows converters with a fixed installed base of equipment to increase output with making any additional capital expenditures.”
“Everyone wants to run lines as fast as possible to get the maximum efficiency from their capital,” said Collick. “The limitations have been bubble stability, but we did experimentation with how molecular architecture impacts bubble stability” at our Film Application Development Center in Freeport, Texas.
“These resins allow you to produce more films at a faster rate or to use a thinner film structure,” said Collick. “This will be very good for lamination films such as candy packaging, and for stand-up pouches. It is in limited commercial use and we are now rolling it out to a broader base.”
Dow’s two new editions to its Dowlex linear LDPE family also provide greater throughput when producing blown film.
Both XUS 61530.501 and XUS 61530.502 will give converters an increase in output of 5-10 percent in applications where Dowlex 2056G and Dowlex 2045G are used. Both new resins can be used for food packaging, medical packaging, heavy-duty shipping sacks, industrial and consumer films and liners.
Dow said XUS 61530 has a more stringent gel specification than Dow 2056G and is particularly good for highly demanding food applications, and that XUS 61530.502 has similar characteristics as Dowlex 2045G , but is designed for structural and sealant applications where higher throughput is required.
“These resins will be good for very low gels and high-demanding industrial applications as well as food applications such as laminated and printed stand-up pouches,” Collick said.
“That is an area that will be good for us,” said Collick. “We see a big continued growth rate in stand-up pouches because they use less material than containerboard or metal.”