European Customers to Benefit from SABIC’s
New Specialty MD LDPE Film Grades Portfolio
To better serve customers in the packaging industry seeking innovative, high quality and sustainable materials, SABIC today announced a product range expansion to encompass specialized medium-density (MD) LDPE film grades - typically used for applications requiring high clarity and stiffness, such as collation shrink films. Production is taking place at SABIC’s manufacturing facility in Wilton, Teesside, U.K., on the world’s largest low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plant.
To benefit converters and end customers, SABIC® LDPE 2801TH00W resin was developed with key features of high purity and superior optical properties, as well as excellent machinability and cutting/punching performance. This material, which is SABIC’s first MD LDPE grade, is the initial product in a planned series of innovative grades in the 928 to 935 g/cm3 density range.
“We are on track in our planned expansion of Teesside’s capabilities to offer European customers a portfolio of specialty materials for food, beverage and hygienic packaging. In addition to their high quality, attractive aesthetics and excellent processing characteristics, our new MD LDPE films promote sustainability in packaging,” said Ben Raven, Technical Marketing Engineer, SABIC. “Because the materials are relatively stiff, they enable very thin gauges that reduce overall resource usage, which also results in less waste. SABIC continues to invest in new technologies that contribute to environmental protection while ensuring the highest level of performance for customers and end users.”
During the pre-commercialization phase the new SABIC® LDPE 2801TH00W resin was market tested by SABIC customers. Customers actively participated by testing the ‘trial’ grade and providing feedback, which was very positive. They especially noted the product’s superior optical properties. This customer involvement not only helps ensure that the new product will add value to their businesses, but also strengthens their relationship with SABIC.
Ben Raven: “A key example of these optical properties is SABIC® LDPE 2801TH00W resin, which was approved recently by a Spanish converter for use as a medium duty collation shrink film. The resin converts very easily under normal processing conditions, yet delivers an outstanding combination of gloss and transparency, definitely exceeding other resins used for the same application.”
The new grade is designed for collation shrink packaging of food and beverages, such as multi-packs of bottles. This transparent, printable film provides several customer benefits such as excellent optical properties, including low haze and high gloss that produces a brilliant print appearance. A higher level of stiffness streamlines cutting to enable higher converting speeds. Other processing advantages include excellent bubble stability and good welding properties. This film’s high stiffness and puncture resistance enable down-gauging without sacrificing strength.The other types of MD LDPE film planned for Teesside will target the packaging of products including hand tissues, feminine hygiene products and high clarity tissue overwraps, as well as automatic packaging films (lamination, pouches, mailing). The 400,000 tpa high-pressure SABIC plant at the Wilton International site in Teesside came on stream in the second half of 2009.