ADDITIVES: 'Game-Changing' Nucleator For HDPE

Milliken's novel nucleator for injection molding HDPE promises reduced part warpage and much more.

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The first of a new family of nucleators based on a “breakthrough” technology developed by Milliken & Co., Spartanburg, S.C., reportedly offers molders of packaging and materials handling applications more options for injection molding HDPE. Based on a novel organic salt, the technology features a unique crystalline orientation that improves the mechanical performance of HDPE to levels approaching those of PP impact copolymers

Hyperform HPN 210 M boasts improved cycle times, reduced warpage and shrinkage, improved pigment levelling along with a significant increase in part stiffness and heat resistance. Testing according to ASTM D790-00 shows increased modulus of up to 50% vs. standard HDPE. This stiffness can enable thinner-wall designs, contributing to final part weight reduction. Moreover, HPN 210 M has been shown to boost heat distortion temperatures (HDT)  by 50-104 F (10-40 C) as determined by ASTM D648-07, enabling it to be molded into a wide range of products where PP is already commonly used, including waste containers, totes, crates and pallets.

Says development and marketing manager for PE additives Reed Walker, “With our new HPN 210 M nucleating agent we are enabling injection molders to expand the performance space of HDPE and LLDPE.” Additionally, this nucleator has been shown to improve on the processing benefits of HDPE, including higher productivity due to shorter cooling times. According to Walker, similar improvements can be see with injection-molded LLDPE articles, such as lids. The additive’s ability to create lamellar crystal orientation of PE in the polymer flow (or machine) direction aids the reduction in shrinkage. Control of shrinkage and warpage contributes to an improvement in the overall quality of large, complex parts, opening the window for PE to become a potential material of choice in molds that traditionally run PP, without the need to retool.