Plastic consumer products are often required to have a shiny and glossy surface finish. Packagers prefer higher gloss to help their plastic bottles and containers stand out on retail shelves. PET is generally preferred by consumer because of excellent glossy surface finish it provides in blow molded container. Polypropylene (PP) products can also be converted into glossy surface finish, if produced from homo polymer. However, all Polyethylene, particularly HDPE, always produce dull finished surface texture for finished products. HDPE products generally have a matt finish because of inherent polymer characteristics.
A bid to develop glossy surface finish from HDPE adversely affects mechanical properties. Ampacet, a leading masterbatch manufacturing company has now developed a new colored masterbatch to impart gloss to HDPE products without affecting the mechanical properties. Moulded packaging made from a combination of new high density polyethylene (HDPE) and the masterbatch boosts glossiness by 200% compared to competing products. This masterbatch called POP creates opaque HDPE containers that often can replace those made of PET to yield significant cost and processing advantages. This new masterbatch gives an alternative means of gaining higher gloss by using HDPE without sacrificing the performance and integrity found in blow and injection molded PET packaging.
Compared to other products that boost gloss in HDPE, POP colors provide for greater HDPE stiffness and better melt strength. The mechanical properties allow the use of high gloss HDPE in both monolayer bottles and as the skin in multilayer bottles. Other high-gloss HDPE compounds lack sufficient parison strength for monolayer bottles and so are only used in outer layers. The use of POP colors also avoids issues involving melt fracture or excessive parison hang time and aids column crush strength. The low tackiness of HDPE containing POP colors reduces de-molding issues and many downstream handling issues, such as scuffing and hang-ups during processing. HDPE containing POP colors has a high heat deflection temperature, so it is less susceptible to deformation when packaging is stored at higher temperatures, such as in a hot warehouse during summer. POP colors run in existing HDPE molds on both high and low-speed extrusion machines and other equipment. POP colors comply with US Food and Drug Administration guidelines for direct food contact.
The colors incorporate Ampacet's SmartColor process technology, which makes purging easier during color changeovers, which reduces downtime and improves product quality. This new masterbatch is of significance because HDPE is less expensive than polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and requires less costly processing equipment.