Additives: Novel Multifunctional Masterbatch Boosts PET Bottle Production Efficiency

Sukano’s novel ‘mobility’ masterbatch allows bottle makers and brand owners to run conveyor belts and robots at maximized speed. 

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A new mobility aid additive masterbatch for injection stretch blow molded (ISBM) PET bottles has been developed by Sukano (U.S. office in Duncan, S.C.). This multifunctional processing additive masterbatch reportedly enables bottle makers and brand owners to run their conveyor-belt systems and production robots without the need for a spray coating. The Sukano Mobility Aid solution, believed to be the first commercially available for this application, is provided as a solid PET masterbatch that is blended with virgin PET or RPET material during molding or processing.

Even at low concentrations, this masterbatch reportedly disperses consistently through the PET material, reducing its coefficient of friction (COF), and modifying the surface texture with a microstructure. The product is said to produce a silicone-like mobility aid effect in PET, yet is engineered to preserve material clarity with minimal impact on haze. It is well suited to clear, translucent, and colored bottles produced for personal care, household and cleaning, cosmetics, as well as food and beverage applications. It is also widely applicable, as PET material containing the new masterbatch can be run on existing ISBM bottle production equipment without modification.

Recent trials at a major U.S. based global player in the consumer goods industry showed that PET bottle mispicks by their production robot decreased sixfold when using the Sukano Mobility, according to director of technology and operations John Price.