The colourants, additives and masterbatch industry showed at the recent K 2016 fair that the relentless march towards product innovation continues, despite the various challenges, including political and economic resulting in price volatility and changes to national and international standards.
PolyOne debuted Impress-brand ultra-glossy metallic colourants. This new technology enables packaging manufacturers to realise new combinations of colour and gloss to create packaging with an attention grabbing appearance. The new Impress metallic effect materials add value to packaging made with semi-crystalline polymers such as, PET, polycarbonate and ABS, says PolyOne.
The firm's On-Color BIO masterbatch concentrates are now certified for at home composting. PolyOne says this step is important because of two new laws in France and the likelihood such laws will be introduced in other countries. At-home composting is at lower temperatures and pressure than industrial composting.
Meanwhile, Baerlocher is pushing into the recycling market with its resin stabilisation technology. It says its Baerpol RST brand is an off-shot of work the company was doing with a major resin maker when employees realised the stabiliser also had applications downstream in the recycling market as well.
Baerlocher views its RST as a substitute for a long-standing additive that has been the go-to for recycled resins for the last generation.
Gregory Anderson, business manager for Baerlocher, says: “The RST technology can be substituted for phosphites in a typical antioxidant package. And one of the reasons that we have taken it into the recycling industry is it also has good antacid properties.”
The company's RST approach saves customers about 25% when compared to phosphites, but the company touts attributes beyond just that including solubility, colour and melt stabilisation, before it even brings up pricing.
Arne Schulle, chief executive of the Baerlocher Group, says the technology launch into the new business space is based on his company's experience in oleo-chemistry. “New customers are evaluating these exciting new products every day and their feedback has been very positive,” he says.
Sanitized spoke about what it believes is the most significant development in 2016 - the Biocide Product Registration which requires formulations based on now registered active materials registration data to be submitted to the respective authorities in Europe. It says: “Additive masterbatches containing such active substances will therefore have to be registered in the future for the use in European markets.”
Sanitized believes that the availability of additive masterbatches containing a biocide will be limited due to the constraints and costs involved in the registration process. However it will continue “to take the necessary steps to maintain its product range in the future. Our regulatory affairs department has many years of expertise and we are happy to advise customers accordingly.”
It has developed a new product Sanitized PL 14-32 as a highly effective and long-lasting antimicrobial protection for flexible polymer applications. Besides thermal stability and compatibility with most formulations, Sanitized PL 14-32 provides water resistance as well as high UV resistance and no yellowing after UV exposure. It protects the material against unwanted effects of microbes, like bacteria, mould, mildew, yeast and algae – all of which can cause material destruction, unsightly stains, cross contamination, odour development and biofilm formation.
Beside thermal and colour stability, the antimicrobial efficiency was checked in several formulations. The product is supported under the European Union's Biocidal Products Regulation and the active substances are approved under the US EPA.
The move towards sustainability and greener products/applications was another trend highlighted by additive manufacturers. Imerys showcased the environmental and technical advantages of its high-performance minerals for automotive lightweighting, recycled plastics and odour- and VOC-reduction, thermally conductive plastic materials.
It has developed new HAR 3G talcs for automotive lightweighting using a patented process that results in very high aspect ratio talc. HAR 3G significantly enhances the performance of TPO and PP compounds where it increases stiffness, maintains good impact resistance and lowers coefficient of linear thermal expansion, allowing designers to achieve zero gap tolerancing. Imerys says: “This unique combination of physical properties makes it possible to reduce wall thickness and weight, helping automotive OEM's meet overall vehicle weight reduction goals with a corresponding improvement in fuel economy.
Perstorp believes the plastics industry needs to provide alternatives that are sustainable without compromising on quality at a reasonable cost and cites its Pevalen non-phthalate plasticiser, which has been awarded an Eco passport by the International Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile Ecology, as an example.
This certifies Pevalen can be used in sustainable textile production and verifies that using this plasticiser in textiles has no harmful effects on human health or the environment. “We are very proud to have received this important independent certification!” says Håkan Björnberg, Perstorp's vice-president of Innovation. “It confirms that Perstorp is on track with its ambitions to create safe and sustainable solutions.
”Along with a continuously increasing demand for Pevalen because of its non-phthalate nature, we have also seen an increased demand for OEKO-TEX certification from the coated fabrics industry.”
He adds: “This certificate assures customers requiring a high-performance non-phthalate plasticiser for their PVC coated textiles that Pevalen is the choice for them.” Perstorp is the first company to introduce PETV to the market.”