A new grade of high density polyethylene resin developed by ExxonMobil Chemical gives processors improved performance and higher sustainability, company officials said.
In a news release, officials with ExxonMobil in Houston said that the new grade of Paxon-brand HDPE is "a step change" in performance for blow molded bottles and containers.
"Companies always need to be cautious with environmental stress cracking resistance," business development manager James Stern said in a recent interview with Plastics News.
The new Paxon grade "allows processors to use one grade instead of multiple grades," he added.
The new material improves environmental stress cracking resistance (ESCR) performance without compromising stiffness, impact, top load performance, or processability, officials said. They added that it's ideal for household and industrial chemical (HIC) bottles and containers for products like bleach, wipes and agricultural chemicals.
The new Paxon "fills the space" between unimodal and bimodal HDPE grades," they said. Stern added it can be used with only minimal changes to existing processing methods.
The new material also can be used with higher post-consumer content with minimal impact on its properties, which officials said should appeal to processors focused on sustainability and circular solutions.
"Sustainability is today's zeitgeist," Stern said. "This is another enabler in the toolkit to use recycled material."
In tests, ExxonMobil has seen good results with the new HDPE and recycled content of up to 50 percent. It also showed good stress-cracking results when compared to standard blow molding resins.
In an email, PE vice president David Hergenrether said that value chain collaboration "is critical in the successful development of new polymer advancements, as it provides a true insight into the needs of the market."
"In this case, our collaborative approach has delivered a new grade … that empowers our customers, supporting development of their innovative solutions to today's challenges in blow molded HDPE packaging," he added.
The new Paxon HDPE is being made at ExxonMobil sites in the United States. The material was commercially available worldwide in February.