Friedrichshafen, Germany — Dow Performance Silicones, part of DowDuPont Inc.'s materials sciences division, has launched a new plastics additive at Fakuma that delivers long-term slip performance without migration for processing of biaxially oriented polypropylene films.
According to Christophe Paulo, global segment leader, plastic additives, the HMB-6301 Masterbatch, which is currently patent-pending, is aimed at high-end packaging solutions that use lamination, metalization and paper effect.
"When you take a BOPP film, you stretch in two directions. Usually, you add a processing additive to reduce friction and slip agents. These additives migrate by default. You add them to the core of the material, and they come to the surface within 24 to 36 hours to play the role of slip agents. But they migrate in both directions through the layers of materials," Paulo said.
But when you need a slip property, you need it on one side of the film.
"That is because you want to print or metallize the other side of the film and you do not want the agents to migrate there," he said.
With a standard agent, usually a barrier is added to avoid migration. But the new Dow additive doesn't require that.
"With our additive, you don't put it into the core of the material. You put it on the layer, where you need the slip property. And that's it; you use it at a far lower concentration," Paulo added.
While the material itself is more expensive than the standard slip agents on the market, Paulo insists it will be cost-efficient as it will increase productivity.
In fact, a major European packaging company has been trialing the product and has reported a 30 percent increase in efficiency, according to Paulo.
Currently producing the additives at its production facility in Saint-Luarent-du-Pont, near the French Alps, Dow Performance Silicones sees ASEAN as a key market where a majority of films are produced.
According to Paulo, Dow Performance Silicones has been introducing new additives into the market every four to six months for the past four years, showing an 18 percent compound annual growth over the period.
The company is also increasing its R&D efforts in the additives segment.
"Our R&D people were usually split between additives and ready-to-use types of materials such as TPEs. The split, up until a recent past, was 40 percent to 60 percent, respectively. With the growth in the additives business, the split has now reversed, with work on additives covering more than 65 percent of activities," he said.