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10/9/2019 | 2 MINUTE READ

Dow to Launch "Award-Winning" Optical Finishes for All-PE High-Gloss Packaging at K 2019

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The new Opolux HGT enables redesigning packaging for recyclability while featuring remarkable heat resistance and exceptional appearance.

Just as I’m writing a feature article which examines the trend toward all-PE pouch structures for food and non-food applications, Dow has announced a new optical finishing for PE-based packaging to support brand owners and converters in addressing recyclability targets. The new Opulux HGT Optical Finishes, to be officially unveiled at K 2019, can help replace PE/PET or PE/BOPP laminated packaging structures with an all-PE based concept that offers high thermal and chemical resistance and delivers excellent optics.

Opulux HGT, which is suitable for many packaging formats and most common coating and packaging equipment, has been recognized as a breakthrough technology at this year’s Edison Awards in the bronze category. “We’re constantly looking at ways to rethink the status quo of packaging to advance the circular economy. With Opulux HGT we are able to simplify the packaging structure to help enable recyclability while maintaining the shelf appeal of the final package,” said Izzat Midani, marketing manager EMEA at Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics.

Opulux HGT is a high-temperature high-gloss varnish applied to surface-printed PE films of flexible packaging. It allows for broadening the processing window of the films and helps in expanding the PE film performance. By replacing laminated substrates like OPET and BOPP in the outer layers with a monoply PE-based film, structure simplification and high conversion efficiency are accomplished. Converters can leave out the lamination step and benefit from a wider coating weight range as well as reduced wash downs, according to Dow.

Opulux can be applied by producers along the value chain using flexogravure, rotogravure or even solvent-based lamination lines, according to Dow. Typically, the varnish is applied over a printing job by a converter. It is also possible for extrusion film manufacturers to apply Opulux to improve the thermal resistance of PE films for lamination.

Coveris, a leading European manufacturer of plastic and paper packaging solutions, is among the early adopters of the new technology. Said Eric Valette, Director of Innovation at Coveris Flexibles France, “We strive to balance the functional and sustainability performance of our products to deliver cost-effective solutions that can contribute to both our own sustainability goals and those of our customers. Dow’s Opulux HGT Optical Finishes helped us achieve exactly this balance in our pet dry food packaging, allowing us to create a robust and durable solution, convenient to use, with a great shelf appeal and that is viable for existing recycling infrastructures.”

By combining Opulux HGT Optical Finishes with Dow’s innovative PE-based polymer solutions, brand owners and converters can redesign packaging for recyclability and achieve key packaging properties such as stiffness and dimensional stability, as well as remarkably glossy finishing for excellent packaging appearance on the shelf, heat resistance and a high-sealing window for packaging efficiency.  (High-performance resins like Innate, Attane and Elite, efficient sealants such as Affinity, as well as Retain barrier compatibilizers are used in these PE-based solutions.)