ANAHEIM, CALIF. - If turnabout is truly fair play, manufacturers of glycol-modified PET sheet may have something to worry about from a new calendered Barex film from American Mirrex Corp. Mirrex introduced what it bills as the first commercial calendered Barex at the Medical Design & Manufacturing West show, held last week in Anaheim.
With it, Mirrex said it hopes to recapture some of the thermo-formed packaging applications that its calendered PVC sheet has lost to PETG in recent years.
``PVC has lost a lot of the market to PETG since 1984, because of gamma sterilization and environmental issues,'' said Peter Schmitt, product manager at the New Castle, Del., sheet manufacturer.
Barex, a high-nitrile copolymer made by BP Chemicals Inc., can be sterilized without discoloring the clear packaging.
On the environmental front, Mirrex has a closed-loop recycling plan for its thermoforming customers.
Mirrex will take back uncontaminated regrind, which is reprocessed into sheet for nonmedical applications.
Although the Barex sheet is more expensive per pound than PETG, Mirrex claims it ends up being less expensive in the final package because the specific gravity is lower and most packages can be downgauged.
In addition to using thinner wall thicknesses, the Barex sheet also can be easier to trim than PETG, Schmitt said.
Schmitt said Mirrex has three commercial applications using the new sheet for thermoformed packaging.
The company uses proprietary technology to calender the film. Schmitt declined to provide details about what processing changes are necessary to manufacture the material on lines designed to calender PVC.
Mirrex, with sales of $150 million, placed 33rd on Plastics News' 1995 ranking of film and sheet manufacturers.