TARPON SPRINGS, FLA. - Durable, returnable homopolymer, co-polymer and PET/polyethylene naphthalate bottles are possible with a new Amoco naphthalate dicarboxylate for making high-performance polyester resins. Amoco introduced the NDC material, a PEN precursor, April 24 at Bev-Pack Americas '95 in Tarpon Springs.
Amoco also unveiled three applications for the precursor, including a 11/2-liter homopolymer, returnable mineral water bottle being tested in Uruguay; a PET/PEN blend aimed at the emerging wide-mouth, hot-filled bottle market; and a copolymer PEN material with greater ultraviolet light resistance now used in a 11/2-liter lemonade container.
The last two applications are demonstrated in consumer products that are currently available in Japan.
Officials said Amoco and Shell Chemical Co. are seeking Food and Drug Administration approval to use NDC in food packaging in the United States.
The product is cleared for use in Europe and Japan, officials said.
The company plans the first commercial NDC plant in Decatur, Ala., with an initial capacity of 54 million pounds per year. The facility is set to start up in the third quarter of this year. Amoco officials noted the precursor will have an initial price of $1.50 per pound.
Jeff Toth, market manager for packaging with Amoco Chemicals Intermediate Business Group in Chicago, said the homopolymer water bottle is made of PEN from Teijin Ltd. of Tokyo.
Toth said the homopolymer application is 20 percent lighter than corresponding PET and can be washed repeatedly at temperatures of 185§ F, as opposed to 155§ F for standard PET. It is more durable in the process, he said.
The new material also allows 15-20 percent shorter molding cycle times than corresponding PET, Toth said.