By: Frank Esposito
October 23, 2013
DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY — A grade of Millad-brand clarifying agent made by Milliken & Co. has won energy-saving approval from Underwriters Laboratories.
When used in a transparent polypropylene product, Millad NX 8000 can lower required processing temperatures from 235° Celsius down to 190° Celsius, creating energy savings of between 8-12 percent – and associated carbon dioxide emissions reductions.
The additive also cuts down on cycle times and will allow Milliken’s customers – including processors and brand owners – to use an Environmental Claim Validation (ECV) label, Millad product line manager Wim Van de Velde said in an Oct. 18 interview at K 2013.
Typical products using the additive include injection molded food storage and large tote containers, as well as thin-wall items and some thermoformed products, he added.
In a news release, UL Environment President Sara Greenstein said that Milliken’s energy savings achievement and UL validation “will help provide valuable differentiation in the plastics industry.”
“Converters and brands now have the unique opportunity to leverage this effort, making it easier for consumers to find and buy plastic containers with reduced environmental impact,” she added.
Spartanburg, S.C.-based Milliken is in the process of increasing capacity for Millad at its plant there. The firm “foresees continued growth” for the product and is boosting capacity by more than 10 percent, Van de Velde said.
In 2014, Milliken plans to introduce new nucleating agents for polyethylene. The new materials will allow for reduced cycle times and other performance improvements.
At K 2013, Milliken also is focusing on a grade of Millad that can simplify production of multilayer PP bottles, such as those used for shampoos and detergents. The firm also is promoting its ClearTint-brand polymeric dyes, which are non-extractable and are suitable for food contact applications.
Milliken ranks as one of the world’s largest privately held chemicals and textiles makers, with annual sales estimated at more than $3 billion.