ExxonMobil and Reifenhäuser have collaborated to make heavy-duty sacks (HDS) using multi-cycle recycled polyethylene (PE) from prior heavy-duty sacks, without compromising performance. This sustainable solution, which uses up to 37% recycled PE heavy duty sack film with virgin performance PE polymers from ExxonMobil, maintains the performance properties of new heavy-duty sacks ― even when fourth-cycle recycled PE heavy duty sacks are included in the formulation.
“When you are using recycled post-consumer PE, the quality of the material is always an issue. When you want to use high amounts of recycled material in demanding applications, you cannot accept any quality. The solution for this is the tracing of qualified film structures. These are identified before recycling and then recycled in the appropriate batch. Only then is this batch used to make new heavy-duty sacks, which closes the packaging loop. Understanding the original recipe helps redesign the formulation with recycled PE to deliver the required quality,” said Ralf Wiechmann, Product manager Blown Film, Reifenhäuser.
“Working together with Reifenhäuser has allowed the combination of our polymer and converting expertise to deliver high-performance heavy-duty sacks that include multi-cycle recycled polyethylene. This sustainable solution clearly demonstrates the benefits of collaboration to create differentiated solutions that meet the needs of the value chain,” said David Hergenrether, ExxonMobil Chemical vice president, polyethylene.
Combining recycled PE from heavy-duty sacks with Exceed XP performance PE and ExxonMobil HDPE from ExxonMobil maintains the package integrity of the new heavy-duty sacks, even when multi-cycle recycled PE is used. These formulations with the tracking technology can be tailored to deliver defined properties that meet the needs of specific heavy-duty sack applications. To date, tests prove that the solution is well-suited for heavy-duty sacks that hold semi-dry or dry goods. Exceed XP performance PE polymers allow the properties of the film to be retained and deliver high-efficiency processing, even when recycled content is added to the formulation.
The Reifenhäuser EVO 5-layer blown film converting technology lowers melt temperatures by as much as 20°C which, combined with a compact die head, allows for increased processability. The ‘take-off’ system lowers the risk of thick film blocking and edge breakage.
For instance, a 5-layer heavy duty sack film, including recycled PE, combines step-out stiffness-toughness and enhanced sealing properties, while delivering excellent machinability and processability. The formulation contains recycled PE in the core and Exceed XP in the skin-layers, which allows the properties of the film to be retained while delivering high-efficiency processing, even when recycled content is added to the formulation.
For further information please visit the ExxonMobil Pavilion FG10.1 at K 2019.