Dow introduces PE based alternative to BOPP and BOPET

TF-BOPE films suitable for flexo & roto gravure printing

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Dow
Dow, Plastchim-T and Ticinoplast introduce wide range of tenter frame BOPE packaging films. Photo - Dow

Designed-for-recyclability, PE-based films enable downgauging and alternative to BOPP and BOPET while delivering toughness, stiffness, thermal resistance, and optical packaging performance.

Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics announced the commercial availability of a wide range of tenter frame, biaxially-oriented polyethylene (TF-BOPE) for linear low, medium, and high-density packaging films. This offering has been developed through a joint value chain effort, combining Dow’s INNATE TF80 technology with the production know-how and experience of Plastchim-T and Ticinoplast, leading producers in PE and BOPP, and the processing knowledge of machine manufacturer Brückner Maschinenbau.

According to the company, these solutions enable customers to use printable, tough, stiff, and visually appealing BOPE films to produce resource-efficient, mono-material packaging designed for recyclability.

Dow’s TF-BOPE-based solutions for oriented films are already commercially available in Asia-Pacific and appreciated for their remarkable appearance and puncture and impact resistance. Applications range from downgauged frozen food films to triplex laminates without BOPA and duplex PE-based laminates used for home and personal care pre-made pouches.

“Building on our global experience with BOPE to design packaging for recyclability, the positive reaction of converters and brand owners in Asia has given us confidence to commercialize these solutions throughout Europe, Middle East, and Africa,” said Jaroslaw Jelinek, global marketing manager for oriented PE technologies, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics. ”Our global teams have been working through Pack Studios to bring the success of this LLDPE based solution to other regions and to broaden the offering for the growing BOPE market.”

“One main focus of our research work was to make BOPE a comprehensive offering and explore higher density spaces that would make this replacement viable and robust,” said Karlheinz Hausmann, global technical fellow, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics.

“As a result, we have developed a unique blend approach that gives converters of BOPE the flexibility to tailor the film performance to the needs of their customers as effectively and economically as possible.”

Customers of Plastchim-T and Ticinoplast can now work with a range of tested TF-BOPE films suitable for flexo- and rotogravure printing, including:

• Tough, high-clarity films for downgauging,

• Co-extruded films and laminates,

• Sealable, medium stiffness films for high-speed flow-wrap applications,

• Increased density TF-BOPE films with stiffness and improved thermal resistance, used as a substrate for barrier deposition, and as an outer film in PE-based laminates.

“BOPE is a breakthrough technology in flexible packaging, comparable to the launch of BOPP in the 1970’s,” said Paolo Rossi, managing director of Ticinoplast. “BOPE needs strong technical efforts for the complete industrialization, and thanks to the active engagement of all value chain members, the development and production of BOPE is growing. We have already seen its benefits including excellent sealability and mechanical characteristics which are comparable to optics and printability available in current films. The joint efforts of the participants in this BOPE development will lead to recyclable flexible packaging solutions as requested by all stakeholders in the market.”

“Our company is strategically focused on environmental protection, and the novel BOPE solutions are one of the few significant developments in the last years that will make a real difference,” added Aydin Faik, owner of Plastchim-T. “There’s a growing interest in tenter frame BOPE and its usage for different applications, which are designed to be recyclable and down-gaugeable. The grades we have produced in cooperation with Ticinoplast and Dow have achieved very positive test results by converting companies across the globe.”

“For us, BOPE opens the door to a new generation of biaxially oriented films to meet market demand while enabling a closed life-cycle for plastic packaging,” Sebastian Ruhland, sales manager at Brückner Maschinenbau. “All the key factors needed – processing know-how, machine design, and various BOPE film grades – have been developed collaboratively. Now printable and metallizable BOPE-HD based films with high stiffness, low shrinkage and high transparency are ready for the market.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

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As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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