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How to choose plastics for your products?

  • Author:admin001
  • Release on:2019-05-04

This is the most common packaging material and, at the same time, one of the most difficult to dispose of. The factors common to all plastics are that they are light, strong cheap to manufacture.

It is for these reasons that they are used so much, as an alternative to cardboard glass packaging materials.

Plastics can be used as single materials or in combination. Their properties vary considerably but usually include:

• Lightweight
• Easily mouldable into almost limitless shapes
• Can produce rigid containers or flexible films
• Can be impact resistant
• Directly decorated or labelled
• Heat sealable

The relative disadvantages of plastics are typically polymer specific and the correct choice of polymer can to a practical degree mitigate the weakness.  Factors to consider are:

• No plastic provides absolute gas and moisture barrier
• Plastics melt at temperatures ranging from 650°C to 2,300°C
• Chemical resistance varies
• Additives in plastics can contaminate some products.

So, how do you choose plastic? Here are some ideas for you.

• Polyethylene (PE)

1.Low Density (LDPE): used for flexible tubes, film and some bottles. It has a low melting point and as a film relatively poor oxygen and moisture barrier.

2.High Density (HDPE): widely used for bottles and tubs. Higher melting point but not ovenable. Reasonably wide chemical resistance which can be enhanced by fluorination. Not a sufficient gas barrier for carbonated drinks.

3.Linear Low Density (LLDPE) Predominantly used as a film or as a sealing layer on multi-laminate materials for bottle seals, sachets, pouches, bags. Available in expanded form for wads.

• Polypropylene (PP)
Widely used for closures for its ability to form a hinge which resists cracking and splitting.  Also used for dispensers, actuators, bottles, jars, cartons, trays and as film on its own or within laminations e.g. crisp bags or pouches. Available in expanded form for tubs and trays.
Typically has higher melting point than PE so although still not “ovenable” it is better suited to hot fill products.  Resistant to a relatively wide range of chemicals.

• Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
Widely used for stretch blown bottles containing drinks, toiletries and food, it has excellent clarity. Also used for jars, tubes and trays. By far the best gas and moisture barrier of any packaging plastic used for containers it is ideal for carbonated beverages.  Its heat resistance makes it suitable for ovenable trays for ready meals.

• Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
Not widely used even though only has a third of its content is derived from oil. It still has a strong presence in vacuum formings used for inserts, clam packs and blister packs, due to its good production line performance. PVC films have excellent stretch and cling properties for hand wrapping fresh produce.

• Polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC)
While normally only used in multi-layer films, PVDC has exceptional moisture and gas barrier properties.  Many pharmaceutical products could not be packed in blister strips without using PVDC as a layer in the blister film.

• Polystyrene (PS)
Mainly seen in its expanded form as protective mouldings for fragile products. Also available as moulded toiletries/cosmetics containers (compacts), some bottles, jars and cups.  It has good chemical resistance and excellent clarity although it can be coloured.

As shown above,Only by fully understanding the raw materials can we better choose plastics for our products in the future.And Which plastic is more suitable for our hot products? Such as bat mat,napkin holder,ice bucket or serving tray?

HAHA,For more information ,to be continued next time.