Over the past several decades, food packaging has experienced a quantum leap in higher quality and lower price, thanks to plastic injection molding. However, one problem has plagued the production of clear plastic food packaging: clouding. Cloudy, semi-opaque plastic food packaging has been shown to have a direct impact on consumer sales.
Dozens of solutions have been put forward to rectify this problem, with varying success. Recently, a large international plastics company has introduced an energy-saving and crystal-clear clarifying agent for use with their leading plastics. Many observers say the resulting clearer plastics will launch a new generation of super-transparent, high gloss, polypropylene random copolymers (PP) for low temperature processing of thin-wall rigid food packaging and storage. These next generation plastics will offer the food packaging and household storage solutions sector a new benchmark in pure, high clarity.
The clarifying additive emerged as the winner of top industry honors in the categories of clarity and packaging stiffness.
The advantages of this new additive are many and include:
* Excellent visual appearance similar to glass
* Superior organoleptic properties. Using a new phthalate-free catalyst, the new plastics are made without peroxides, which results in the excellent organoleptic properties required by the food industry. Both grades are low in odor and carbon emissions, to boot.
* High fluidity: Elaborate designs and thin walls are possible during injection molding, due to the high-fluidity of the new additive-enhanced plastics. These new grades are optimal for differing-sizes of stiff containers for food packaging, and home wares where high clarity and and superior stiffness is necessary.
* Energy savings and cycle time reduction: the clarifying innovation allows the melt temperature of the new grades to be decreased during injection molding to temperatures as low as 170-180C, without any negative effects on the optical performance of the final product. This means injection molders can drop the standard melt temperature down from 220 / 230C, for significantly less energy consumption when heating the extruder. The lower temperature reduces cooling time by up to 10%, with the possibility to make more pieces per hour.