New PP Resins for Food and Non-Food Packaging

Six new PP resins are said to offer performance advantages in a broad spectrum of high-growth food and non-food packaging applications.

Six new PP resins are said to offer performance advantages in a broad spectrum of high-growth food and non-food packaging applications. Manufactured in Europe, they are now available for export from Basell Polyolefins, Elkton, Md. Transparent applications: Three of these resins are the latest additions to the company’s Clyrell line of heterophasic (impact) copolymers produced with the Catalloy process. Grade RC514L is for sheet extrusion and thermoforming of lids, fruit and salad trays, and blister packs. It is said to have the optical performance of highly clarified random copolymers plus the stiffness (217,500 psi) of a nucleated PP homopolymer. Also new is RC1601, a blown film grade that boasts improved metal adhesion and barrier properties. It reportedly produces packages with a smooth surface and excellent gloss. New RC1314 is a blown film grade said to provide good impact strength and an excellent softness/transparency balance in clear packaging such as bread bags, breathable fresh-cut produce packaging, overwraps, food pouches, and easy-opening soft lids. Low-temperature food packaging: Clyrell EC1664 is a highly transparent extrusion grade designed for frozen and chilled food packaging. It has haze of 17% (a bit higher than high-clarity random copolymer) combined with good impact performance at -20 C. Foamed food trays: Higran RS1684 foamable PP is aimed at medium- to shallow-draw applications such as foamed trays for packaging a wide range of fresh foods from fruit to shellfish. It produces chemically blown foams at around 0.60 g/cc density. It is said to be much less brittle than competing foams, needs no seal layer, and is unaffected by oils or fats. It can be used on form-fill-seal lines and behaves well in hot-filling, sterilization, or microwave reheating, says Basell. High-barrier sheet and thermoforming: Adstif HA1686 is a nucleated, high-crystalline resin that reportedly addresses the severe limitation in how much regrind thermoformers can incorporate in transparent applications without compromising clarity. It is said to be an excellent candidate for high-barrier sheet and thermoforming applications requiring cleanliness and freshness after extended shelf time. Its broader processing window than current Adstif resins can offer better economics and higher productivity in making drinking cups, fruit baskets, and hot-fill products. It also has potential in new market opportunities in pasteurized and sterilizable food packaging to replace glass jars and steel cans.