Published On: Fri, Jun 7th, 2013

Milliken puts clarity, aesthetics and sustainability in the spotlight at K 2013

Ghent, Belgium – Leading polyolefins additives supplier Milliken will greet K 2013 visitors with a full package of value-adding product innovations and services focused around the industry’s priority themes of clarity & aesthetics, productivity improvement, property optimization, and sustainability.

Milliken puts clarity, aesthetics and sustainability in the spotlight at K 2013

Milliken puts clarity, aesthetics and sustainability in the spotlight at K 2013

Milliken’s additive solutions on-show at K 2013 embrace the performance and productivity requirements of plastics processors, offering outstanding optical and physical properties balanced with productivity increases and energy efficiency for injection molded, blow molded and extruded polyolefin-based applications. They advance low temperature processing and set new benchmarks in the aesthetics and performance of polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE), contribute to new opportunities for inter-material replacement, enable lighter weight parts, and promote more sustainable end-applications based on advanced polyolefins.

 “Sustainability is a key driver across Milliken’s portfolio,” comments Allen Jacoby, Business Manager, Plastics Additives Milliken. “Customers using Milliken additives can save material, save energy, save time and save money, all while achieving high quality end products. In addition, the assurance of reliable supply and technical support helps our customers maximize their processes and applications. Processors, designers and brand owners attending K 2013 will get a valuable insight into the exciting possibilities generated by our cutting-edge development, for applications from food storage containers and beverage cups to interior automotive components.”

Products representing these benefits at K 2013 will include: Millad® NX™ 8000 and NX 8500E clarifying agents for PP; Hyperform® HPN 68L, HPN-20E and HPN-600ei nucleating agents for PP; Hyperform HPN-20E nucleating agent for PE; and Hyperform HPR-803i reinforcing agent.

Combining energy savings with excellent transparency: Millad NX 8000 clarifying agent for PP
The rapid conversion of 70% of the clarified polypropylene market to Millad NX 8000, considered to be the clarifier of choice for new transparent PP applications, indicates the high value placed on its ability to deliver productivity improvements of up to 18%, energy savings of up to 13% and 10% reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, in addition to giving a fresher, cleaner look to PP-based applications.

Milliken puts clarity, aesthetics and sustainability in the spotlight at K 2013

Milliken puts clarity, aesthetics and sustainability in the spotlight at K 2013

The clarifying innovation finally makes it possible for PP parts to be made with optical properties until now only associated with more glass-like polymers such as polycarbonate, crystal polystyrene, and acrylics. With its lower density, PP provides a solution that is less costly and with a lower carbon footprint—in short, more sustainable. Polystyrene is already being replaced by PP containing Millad NX 8000 for thermoformed food containers and cups for cold drinks, while some coffee blenders are now using new PP grades instead of polycarbonate.

Supporting the general trend towards higher-flow and faster-processing grades of PP, the solubility of Millad NX 8000 in PP is far better than previous generations of clarifying agents. This is especially important in the production of housewares and thin walled products, where processors are constantly searching for productivity improvements.

Over the three years since K 2010, Milliken has been focusing on helping converters to process polypropylenes clarified with Millad NX 8000 at lower temperatures to improve productivity and save energy. It has also been working closely with specifiers to achieve their sustainability targets by replacing materials like polystyrene as well as PET and PC, and it has also been working with resin producers on new developments in high MFR PP injection molding grades.

Millad NX 8500E is a variant of NX 8000 that has been fine-tuned for extrusion-blow molding (EBM) polypropylene applications. Use of Millad NX 8500E can simplify production of multilayer bottles for example, since the same grade of PP can now be used for the outer layer and for the inner layer. The special formulation of Millad NX 8500E helps improve gloss on the inside and outside of bottles. This is an important feature for products such as bottles for shampoos and detergents, where brand owners strive to have their products stand out on the shelves.

ClearTint® polymeric dyes from Milliken are an ideal complement to Millad clarifying agents. Unlike more conventional dyes, they are non-extractable and suitable for food contact applications. Nor do they affect part shrinkage, which can be a problem with pigments often used in polyolefins.

Improving productivity and optimizing properties: nucleating agents for PP
Hyperform is the first family of nucleating agents for PP that directs balanced orientation in processed parts resulting in excellent dimensional stability, improved physical properties, and reduced warpage and shrinkage. As a result it addresses many of the critical processing, part-consistency, and physical property issues facing manufacturers. In addition, the effect of Hyperform nucleating agents on PP crystallization temperature results in up to 15% increase in productivity for convertors. Easy to use, Hyperform products disperse well, even in high melt flow resins where traditional nucleation technologies may not.

Milliken puts clarity, aesthetics and sustainability in the spotlight at K 2013

Milliken puts clarity, aesthetics and sustainability in the spotlight at K 2013

At K 2013, Milliken will demonstrate the benefits of its Hyperform nucleating agents as more effective and cost-efficient alternatives to additives such as talc and sodium benzoate. Hyperform HPN-600ei offers opportunities for better transparency, light weighting and replacement of PET and PS in thermoforming. HPN-600ei can be incorporated into sheet extrusion and thermoforming grades of PP to provide excellent aesthetics, rather than the yellowish appearance that is common in conventional polypropylene. The overall effect of balanced orientation induced by HPN-600ei is the reduction of warpage in the final parts resulting in reduced cycle times and the ability to stack parts without nesting issues.

Opportunities to override the nucleation of pigments and maximize production and part quality and consistency can be gained through the addition of Hyperform HPN-20E to injection molding grades.

Benefits for typical applications include fine-tuning CLTE (coefficient of linear thermal expansion) in grades for automobile bumpers and instrument panels, cycle time reduction and warpage elimination in the production of pallets and crates, and increased processability and optic enhancement in packaging. Hyperform nucleating agents are also used in profile extrusion, such as pipe applications where they offer improved stiffness, surface smoothness and processability.

…and also for PE
Visitors to the stand will also be able to quiz Milliken experts on progress the company has made on improving nucleation in polyethylene. Hyperform HPN-20E enables PE to be used in even more diverse packaging applications than ever before. It increases the crystallization temperature of the polymer, allowing earlier de-molding of parts, cutting cycle times and increasing productivity up to 10 percent and in some cases by as much as 20 percent. Hyperform HPN-20E is suitable for high barrier high-density polyethylene (HDPE) blown film, industrial blow molded containers, caps and closures, and extruded tubes, as well as in linear low density PE (LLDPE).

Performance enhancements for PE include improvements to barrier in film and to the environmental stress cracking resistance (ESCR) of tubes, an increase in ESCR and top load for industrial containers, and pigment leveling for caps and closures (C&C).

Milliken puts clarity, aesthetics and sustainability in the spotlight at K 2013

Milliken puts clarity, aesthetics and sustainability in the spotlight at K 2013

Hyperform HPR-803i reinforcing fibers for a more sustainable automotive industry
Milliken’s synthetic reinforcing agent Hyperform HPR-803i allows automotive designers to create parts that are up to 15% lighter without compromising performance. Hyperform HPR-803i is added at a lower addition rate than mineral fillers to polypropylene compounds, so the compounds have a lower density. Used alone or with talc, it helps automakers meet weight reduction targets and produce cars with reduced fuel consumption and lower vehicle emission.

Hyperform HPR-803i compounds are suitable for injection molding operations originally designed for talc-filled compounds, simplifying testing requirements and reducing implementation costs. PP compounds reinforced with HPR-803i maintain their mechanical properties even after multiple recycling and compounding operations. Part surface appearance can also be improved, and HPR-803i lets processors reduce pigment usage while still meeting color requirements. Scratch appearance is improved, which can allow for further formulation optimization.

Compounds containing Hyperform HPR-803i can be processed on existing conventional injection molding equipment, without processors having to make additional investments (unlike with other technologies). For more information follow Milliken’s K show blog www.millikenchemical.com/kshow