Film equipment maker Macro Engineering & Technology Inc. used NPE2012 in Orlando to launch a new technology to extrude foamed films in an “environmentally friendly process” that uses inert gas as the foaming agent.
Applications include food packaging, such as caps, thermoformed trays and insulation pouches; medical packaging (lamination material); and retail applications such as glossy films.
By using inert gas, the process does not produce greenhouse gas, Macro officials said. Production also is safer than methods that use flammable foaming agents.
Macro, of Mississauga, Ontario, said the technology can foam both blown and cast film. The processor can switch between conventional films and foam production.
You can retrofit it into an existing extrusion line.
Foams can expand a film's thickness by 100 percent or more, while reducing the density by 40-60 percent, Macro said. The process can improve film strength, tear-resistance and create anti-slip properties that have a glossy surface.
Macro has made foams based on linear low density polyethylene and high density polyethylene blends, polystyrene and polypropylene.
Macro also has created compostable foams using polylactic acid.
NPE2012 was held April 1-5.
In other trade show news, Macro introduced a new extrusion line for making photovoltaic sheet at the Plast 2012 show in Milan, Italy, May 8-12. The sheet line produces the encapsulant sheet material used on solar panels.
The equipment features Macro's patent-pending low-shrink extrusion technology, which minimizes shrinkage to below 2 percent. That means less material to waste during the manufacturing of the solar modules.
The PV sheet line produces the encapsulation sheet from a range of materials, including ethyl vinyl acetate, polyethylene, polyvinyl butyrate and thermoplastic polyurethane.
Macro claims the line designed for simplicity by creating sheet without the use of a carrier web, and by incorporating a two-sided embossing option winds the sheet without the need for an interleave web.
Macro Engineering also named Michele Ingegnoli as general manager of the company's European brand in Mezzomerico, Italy, which was established in 2011. Ingegnoli's main role is to oversee Macro Europe's goal of faster technical support, improved service and a stronger sales force in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Tel. 905-507-9000, fax 905-507-3000, email [email protected].