Glossy polyethylene offers alternative to PET

By George Reynolds

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Color Polyethylene terephthalate

Moulded packaging made from a combination of new high density
polyethylene (HDPE) and a colour masterbatch boosts glossiness by
200 per cent compared to competing products, the manufacturer

Research shows that consumers are more attracted to glossy products, but packagers face the problem that increased gloss reduces the strength of packaging.

Ampacet's POP gloss combined with HDPE, reduces these trade-off, claims the company. As a result, the combination creates opaque HDPE containers that often can replace those made of PET to yield significant cost and processing advantages, the company claimed.

Packagers have gravitated to higher gloss to help their plastic bottles and containers stand out on retail shelves, sad Doug Brownfield, Ampacet's strategic business manager.The POP colours approach gives then an alternative means of gaining higher gloss by using HDPE without sacrificing the performance and integrity found in blow and injection molded PET packaging.

"This is important because HDPE is less expensive than polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and requires less costly processing equipment,"​ he said. "It also does not have the processing issues associated with PET. POP colours also let packagers add special effects that are hard to gain in high-gloss PET packaging."

Compared to other products that boost gloss in HDPE, POP colours provide for greater HDPE stiffness and better melt strength, the company claims.

The mechanical properties allow the use of high-gloss HDPE in both monolayer bottles and as the skin in multilayer bottles.

Other high-gloss HDPE compounds lack sufficient parison strength for monolayer bottles and so are only used in outer layers.

The use of POP colours also avoids issues involving melt fracture or excessive parison hang time and aids column crush strength, claims the manufacturer.

The low tackiness of HDPE containing POP colors reduces de-molding issues and many downstream handling issues, such as scuffing and hang-ups during conveying, Ampacet claims.

HDPE containing POP colours has a high heat deflection temperature, so it is less susceptible to deformation when packaging is stored at higher temperatures, such as in a hot warehouse during summer, claims the company.

POP colors run in existing HDPE molds on both high and low-speed extrusion machines and other equipment.

The colours incorporate Ampacet's SmartColor process technology, which makes purging easier during colour changeovers, which reduces downtime and improves product quality, claims the company.

POP colours comply with US Food and Drug Administration guidelines for direct food contact, the company stated. US-headquartered Ampacet is a global masterbatch manufacturer with operations across the Americas, Asia and Europe.

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