Nova Chemicals Corp. is making a move in the packaging market by introducing two new material grades that it said can provide greater strength and stiffness for food applications.
The firm will launch new grades of its Dylark-brand styrene/maleic anhydride resin and its Zylar-brand styrenic copolymers to compete in the packaging market, said Holly Wilson-Jene, global business director of acrylic copolymers for the Pittsburgh company. Both resins are in the pilot stages and should be released by early next year, she said.
The acrylic blends are targeted for use with light-gauge thermoforming of food containers sold in retail and institutional applications, she said. Wilson-Jene spoke at the Society of Plastics Engineers Thermoforming Conference, Sept. 18-21 in Indianapolis.
``These offer new advantages to thermoformers,'' Wilson-Jene said. ``They give improved toughness and that's a big breakthrough. Thermoforming is growing at a fast rate [for food packaging], and we have extended our product line to help in that area.''
Zylar offers clarity and cold-temperature impact strength, and is suited for frozen-food packaging and refrigerated products, Wilson-Jene said.
The Dylark blend is targeted at microwave packaging, especially takeout containers, and at containers for grocery shelves and institutional uses. The resin, approved by the Food and Drug Administration, is twice as stiff as polypropylene - a standard material used in thermoformed containers - and does not warp when heated, she said.
Zylar is well-suited to replace PET or PVC sheet materials, she added.
Dylark has been used mainly with automotive interior applications, like instrument panels.