30 percent thinner PLA films with Reifenhäuser Ultra Flat Plus
Environmentally friendly, bio-based plastics are a possible approach to using plastic in a more sustainable way. By definition, they must be biodegradable. Some are even made from renewable resources such as sugar cane or corn. There is significant potential for the use of bio-plastics, particularly in packaging sectors with a comparatively short service life, such as transport packaging for food or takeaway products.
Bio-plastic – an economic alternative?
However, due to its different material composition, a few challenges in manufacturing biodegradable packaging film have emerged, which have been inhibiting market growth – above all, the material costs. Bio-plastics are approximately four times as expensive as PE. In addition, concessions in terms of mechanical properties have to be made with conventional processing methods. The material’s lack of stiffness means that the finishing process is longer, for example when manufacturing compostable bio-plastic bags.
Ultra thin with optimum strength
“We believe in the future viability of bio-plastics as a real alternative in the circular economy. This is why we have developed Ultra Flat Plus: a solution for our customers that increases economic efficiency and significantly improves processing properties,” explained Marcel Perrevort, Sales Director at Reifenhäuser Blown Film Polyrema. Reifenhäuser is currently the only company offering this technology. Using the unique inline stretching unit on the haul-off, a 30 percent thinner film is achieved. Down-gauging the still-warm bio-film increases its strength, meaning that the finishing speed also increases – to a level comparable with that of PE films.
High-performance bio-packaging films
Stretching the film with Ultra Flat Plus haul-off is more energy efficient, saving users or customers additional resources. “This small upgrade enables high-quality bio-blown films and bio-winding films to be produced with a simple mono-layer line. The tool’s control system is very quickly and intuitively integrated into existing processes,” stated Marcel Perrevort.
Reifenhäuser at K 2019
Have we caught your attention for bio-plastics? Visit us from October 16 to 23 at the K trade fair in Düsseldorf: Hall 17, stand C22. You can gain further insights into extrusion technology at our in-house fair in the Reifenhäuser technology center, Troisdorf on October 17, 21, and 22.