HOUSTON-Oriented polypropylene films combined with coating or sealing layers of metallocene linear low density polyethylene are producing impressive new packaging materials, said Terry Clark, leader for the applications technology team for the Films Division of Mobil Chemical Co. Clark, speaking Sept. 25 at SPO '96 in Houston, said the improved barrier performance metallocene LLDPE gives to OPP films may give OPP the final edge it needs to compete with cellophane films and with complex, compounding packaging products.
Since the 1970s, OPP has replaced much of the cellophane and glassine films used to package bakery, confectionery, tobacco and other products, Clark said.
Cellophane, however, has continued to be competitive in limited markets, such as in the packaging of nuts and cheeses, where modified atmospheres are needed to deter rancidity and mold growth. Other products, such as coffee, have complex packaging that combine a variety of products, such as metal foils and PET films, for appearance and freshness.
The new OPP/metallocene LLDPE blends may make inroads in those markets, Clark said.
HOUSTON - Moving closer to their introduction to the market, Dow Chemical Co. said it has used its metallocene catalyst technologies to produce a number of grades of ethylene/styrene interpolymers.
Speaking at SPO '96, Steve Hoenig, development leader for Dow's ESI products, said his company has made ESI resins with a 50 mole percentage of styrene/ ethylene, and molecular weights ranging from 10,000-500,000. Previously, without the benefits of metallocene catalysts, Hoenig said it was only possible to produce ESI resins with a 1 mole percent styrene content.
Dow of Midland, Mich., has made blown films and injection molded products from the resins, Hoenig said.
He noted that the firm expects to develop applications for the automotive, packaging, durables, wire and cable, toy, elastomer and gasket and profiles markets for the resins.
Hoenig did not say when Dow may produce commercial quantities of the resins.
PITTSBURGH - Aristech Chemical Corp. announced Oct. 4 it intends to launch an engineering study for a third polypropylene production unit at its LaPorte, Texas, facility.
Aristech said its preliminary study will be targeted at a unit to produce 528 million pounds of PP a year. The new unit would increase the company's annual PP production capacity to 1.35 billion pounds.
Separately, Aristech is building a polypropylene technical center at its headquarters in Pittsburgh.
DALLAS - Fina Oil and Chemical Co. will spend $120 million to double its production of high density polyethylene at its Bayport, Texas, facility.
Fina of Dallas announced in March it intended to launch an expansion that included a new HDPE production line and debottlenecking of several facilities.
At that time, the company did not reveal where its new line would be located.
Fina now produces 420 million pounds of HDPE a year. The streamlining projects will add 30 million pounds of annual production, and the new line will add another 400 million pounds of annual production.
The new line is scheduled to be in production by mid-1998.
Injection press maker Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. of Bolton, Ontario, opened its spare parts facility in Buffalo, N.Y., on Sept. 24. The facility, with 50,000 square feet of warehouse space and 20,000 square feet of offices is located next to Buffalo International Airport.
A.F. Niebuhr Sales and TR Machinery, two sales organizations in the metropolitan New York/New Jersey area have merged to create The Machinery Group, representing Cincinnati Milacron exclusively. The two had been longtime competitors, with Neibuhr representing Van Dorn (now Van Dorn Demag Corp.) and TR Machinery handling Milacron. The Machinery Group, with six employees, is based in Kenilworth, N.J.
Ohio Gov. George Voinovich presented Youngstown, Ohio-based screw maker Spirex Corp. a 1996 Governor's ``E'' Award for Excellence in Exporting. Spirex was one of 36 Ohio firms to win the award. ... Engel Canada Inc. of Guelph, Ontario, has opened a sales, service and parts operation in Mexico City. ... Blow molding machine maker Aoki Technical Laboratory Inc. of Nagano, Japan, has opened a center in Singapore, near Singapore City Hall. ... As of June 1, Tecumseh, Mich., screw maker Great Lakes Feedscrews Inc. ended its 16-year role as sales representative of non-return valves for Component Manufacturing and Design Inc. GLF said it took the action to resolve any conflict-of-interest over promotion of its own non-return valve.