Mexico City — Ampacet Corp. has added SynTear to its lineup of masterbatch concentrates aimed at creating new tactile experiences for consumers.
"We're looking for value-added enhancements to push the market beyond where it is today," value chain senior global manager Doug Brownfield said in an interview at the Plastimagen trade show in Mexico City.
"The packaging market has become very commoditized," he added. "We want to show processors another way to use polyethylene to enhance the function and aesthetics of packaging."
SynTear concentrates are the latest market entry for Tarrytown, N.Y.-based Ampacet. They use the firm's Paper 2.0 additive technology to make synthetic tissue that looks, feels and tears like paper with the added benefits of moisture resistance, excellent barrier properties and processing ease, officials said.
They described SynTear in a news release as "a natural extension" to SynWrap, the synthetic paper concentrates that the firm launched earlier this year. SynTear can be torn in any direction and can replace coated and wax paper for tearable applications such as deli wrap, condiment and sweetener packets and snack bag pouches.
"The challenge today is to make plastic more organic or natural through texture, scent or by the ability to tear quieter and softer," Brownfield said at Plastimagen.
Speed also has become increasingly important in the product development process for new concentrates, he added. "Product colors can change faster than ever," Brownfield added. "A new design might lead to a sales spike, and we have to be able to have to respond as fast as that product is selling."
Ampacet also has found success with ReptyleFX, a line of colors, special effects and functional additives launched in early 2016. The technology creates unique, customizable colors and surface textures — such as snakeskin — in flexible plastic film.
Looking ahead, Brownfield said that Ampacet is working with DowDuPont Inc. on a recyclable pouch made completely from PE. The firm in 2018 also plans to launch PE-based synthetic leather concentrates that can compete with PVC and allow processors to make soft-touch products of different thicknesses and colors.
Ampacet is a leading producer of color and additive masterbatch concentrates. The firm employs more than 2,000 at 24 plants worldwide and has annual sales of more than $1 billion.