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New product increases potential for using PA6 blown films for flexible food packaging.

Royal DSM, the global life and materials science company, has launched a newlydeveloped product which it says offers processors increased potential for using polyamide 6 in blown film for flexible food packaging.

DSM says thanks to its improved crystallisation properties, new Akulon XS has an extended processing window, which provides new opportunities in designing co-extruded multi-layer as well as monolayer film structures.

As awareness of the need for food waste reduction and shelf life extension grows, demand for barrier films for flexible food packaging continues to increase. DSM says Polyamide 6 (PA6) is a viable option for use in such films, owing to its good barrier properties and its mechanical strength. The high crystallisation rate of polyamide 6, however, can limit its processing window. Processors have to either compromise on productivity, or obtain improved processability by blending the PA6 with special, and more expensive, amorphous polyamides or polyamide copolymers. This, says DSM, reduces the cost-effectiveness of the film.


Akulon XS is said to resolve this issue as it crystallises much slower in the film bubble than conventional PA6--matching the crystallisation rate of other material layers. This creates a more stable bubble and gives processors more leeway in their processing conditions. The film is also more stretchable, so less force is needed to achieve the same blow-up ratio (BUR), or the same force can be used to produce a bubble with a BUR between 7 and 10 percent higher. There are also said to be fewer wrinkles in the flat film.

Even though slower crystallisation creates larger crystals that might be expected to produce a less clear film, DSM says tests on full-scale production lines have shown that there is virtually no discernible difference in the optical properties of films made with a benchmark film-grade polyamide and Akulon XS. DSM says all properties of the film in use are the same as in film made with standard PA6.

DSM says Akulon XS is making it easier and more cost effective for processors to make polyamide 6 blown films for flexible food packaging, leveraging the unique barrier and mechanical properties of polyamide 6.

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Comment:New product increases potential for using PA6 blown films for flexible food packaging.(NEWS)
Publication:British Plastics & Rubber
Date:Oct 1, 2013
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