Fluoropolymer Is New Option for Barrier Bottles

Makers of multi-layer bottles and monolayer or coextruded tubing have a new barrier resin choice in Aclon PCTFE fluoropolymer from Honeywell Specialty Films, Morristown, N.J.

Makers of multi-layer bottles and monolayer or coextruded tubing have a new barrier resin choice in Aclon PCTFE fluoropolymer from Honeywell Specialty Films, Morristown, N.J. Aclon is the semi-crystalline material Honeywell uses to make its Aclar films, but now it is offering it to other processors for non-competing uses. The only other supplier of PCTFE resin is Daikin America, Orangeburg, N.Y. Its Neoflon is used in rods, sheets (including pharmaceutical blister packaging), and small machine parts. According to Jay Shah, market segment leader for barrier products, Aclon’s main advantage is high transparency and a moisture barrier 10 times higher than any other clear thermoplastic. It is also chemically inert and has low tendency to flavor scalping and a low coefficient of friction. Two grades are offered. Aclon 1090 is a homopolymer with 2.144 g/cc density that is aimed at barrier layers in bottles for moisture-sensitive pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and personal-care products. For example, it can replace glass in very small containers (such as sample sizes) where the surface-area/volume ratio is too high for other barrier resins to be effective. It has been tested on a wheel-type continuous-extrusion blow molder from Wilmington Machinery, Wilmington, N.C. It has also been injection stretch-blow molded on both one- and two-stage machines. Honeywell can recommend tie-layer adhesive resins to bond Aclon to PE or PP. Aclon has been injection molded commercially into closures for chemical containers. Aclon 5120 is a copolymer with vinylidene fluoride, which adds flexibility and heat sealability. It has improved chemical barrier but lower moisture barrier. Possible uses include automotive fuel tubing and chemical transport. Molten Aclon is shear sensitive and has a narrow processing window. Barrel temperatures must be kept between 500 and 575 F. Processors must use corrosion-resistant screws and barrels and chrome-plated dies. Honeywell would not reveal pricing other than to say it is in the middle range for fluoropolymers, or around $10 to $25/lb.