Film extrusion: Orienting blown film: the next big thing?
Machine Direction Orientation (MDO) equipment for blown film is said to have sparked a considerable amount of interest at Hosokawa Alpine American's booth during the K 2001 show, especially from the f...
Machine Direction Orientation (MDO) equipment for blown film is said to have sparked a considerable amount of interest at Hosokawa Alpine American’s booth during the K 2001 show, especially from the food packaging sector.
“This technology presents a host of possibilities for property improvement,” said Hosokawa Alpine American president David Nunes. “I think this will be the single biggest change in blown film in the next ten years.”
Alpine’s MDO unit heats, stretches, anneals and cools the film, either in-line (prior to winding) or off-line. The MDO process increases machine direction strength, film stiffness, barrier properties and improves appearance.
MDO units are also available from Black Clawson and Marshall & Williams Plastics.
Orientation of film is not a new concept, but its application to blown film for the purpose of improving barrier properties and other characteristics represents a new development
At a film seminar in June in Toronto, Nunes said some MDO units were already in commercial use for food packaging applications. Pricing for Alpine’s MDO equipment ranges from US$600,000 for an in-line unit to a high of US$1 million for an off-line set-up.
MDO is suitable for a variety of resins, said Nunes, although some, such as EVOH and nylon, are more challenging. “But we have been able to orient all these materials to reach specific barrier and modulus properties. We’re working on getting units into facilities now to do further applications development work.”
Hosokawa Alpine American 508-655-1123
Black Clawson Converting Machinery LLC 315-598-7121
Marshall & Williams Plastics 401-765-7770