Nova Chemicals expands its HDPE resins for oriented film structures
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Oriented polyethylene film technologies offer new building blocks for packaging recyclability, Nova says.
Nova Chemicals Corp. is introducing new resin technology for machine direction oriented (MDO) and biaxially oriented (BO) processes to help its customers and brand owners meet their sustainability goals.
Calgary-based Nova’s specialized HDPE resin, Surpass HPs153-A, is now available to produce 100 per cent high-density MDO films. “Due to the broad orientation window, HPs153-A exhibits exceptional stability during production run or manufacturing on commercial scale inline MDO blown film equipment,” Nova officials said in a June 15 news release. “MDO-HDPE films can be used to replace BOPP and BOPET to produce fully recyclable all-PE laminates with high stiffness to maintain registration for printing and converting, excellent heat resistance to minimize shrinkage during packaging conversion, and outstanding clarity.”
Oriented film structures allow easy-to-recycle all-PE packaging to replace traditional mixed material packaging which is not recyclable, the news release continued. “In addition, orientation of PE films allows for property improvements otherwise not attainable in blown or cast films such as enhanced stiffness, toughness, and optical properties,” Nova said. “Oriented films are ideal for use in food packaging, heavy duty shipping sacks, e-commerce and other demanding applications.”
“Being able to produce HDPE-based oriented films is a significant step towards our industry’s goal of 100 per cent recyclable packaging,” said Owen Lightbody, Nova’s application development and circular economy leader.
“According to our April 2022 consumer survey on plastics, packaging and sustainability, half of consumers aged 45 and under reported deliberately purchasing products because the package included a made from recycled materials label,” said Bill Pardo, Nova’s food packaging market manager. “This research further supports our focus on oriented PE films for recyclability.”
A second development builds on Nova’s introduction last year of its BOPE-HD technology that enables the manufacture of all-PE, recyclable multilayer film structures with significantly improved physical performance versus blown film. Now, the company’s new Isurpass TX150-A is said to enable an all-PE biaxially oriented print web, which can be laminated to an all-PE sealant web for complete recyclability. “In the last year, several film formulations have been successfully scaled up from pilot scale equipment to commercial lines,” Nova said. “[We are] working with film producers across multiple regions to establish a global supply of commercial BOPE-HD films.”