High-Performance Stretch Film with Recycle Content
Photo Credit: Braskem America
All globally major materials and additives suppliers, particularly those producing the major volume commodity resins and associated additives, have been making significant inroads toward the goal of a circular economy. Underscoring their efforts are collaborations across the supply chain, whether it be mechanical recycling, chemical and/or advanced recycling, or designing for recyclability, such as is the case with all-PE packaging such as stand-up pouches and blow-molded bottles.
Among them is Braskem, which one could say, had a head start in this overall realm with the introduction of its I’m Green biobased PE resins in 2010. Like others, the company has an entire sustainability program in place—in their case, branded Wenew. Its core focus is to develop and promote high-quality circular products, such as polymers and chemicals produced from mechanical recycling, advanced recycling or as a result of Braskem’s traditional production process. The goal is always to ensure maximum quality when used in Braskem’s new products and can thus act as role models for broader use throughout the industry.
An excellent example of Braskem’s collaborative industry efforts debuted a K 2022, the result of the company’s partnership with SML Extrusion to develop high-performance stretch films with recycle content. It included the use of Braskem’s Wenew post-consumer recycled (PCR) portfolio of PE resins and SML’s new technology. For several years, the two companies have collaborated on different aspects in the development of high-quality stretch film. More recently, they were able to produce market-conform stretch films containing at least the PCR content (30%) demanded by brand owners and stipulated in legal regulations.
SML’s PowerCast XL, a 4.5 m wide stretch film line with a net output capacity of up to 3.400 kg/h (7.49 lb/hr), was used to produce a ‘premium’ stretch film using 30% of Braskem’s Wenew DLO85C 100% PCR resin. It can be fitted with a 7 to 67 layer feedblock, and it comes with the biggest chill roll of 1,600 mm (62.992 in.) in the field. A technical highlight of the PowerCast XL is its patented triple turret winder, said to be the first in the market for manufacturing 2” stretch film hand rolls on a 4.5 m wide line.
Photo Credit: SML
The Braskem resin is said to allow the production of completely transparent stretch film with excellent mechanical properties on SML stretch film lines. Resultant films are reportedly highly resilient and withstand strong mechanical loads, i.e. in the area of transport safety or for automatic applications in the beverage industry.
Said Carlos André Silva, subject matter expert at Braskem, “The stretch film developed together with SML shows how far Braskem has already increased PCR quality and what is already feasible today. Combining Wenew product with Braskem’s portfolio, we can achieve a film with extremely high-quality and thus helping to open completely new perspectives for the use of recycled materials in a wide range of applications.”
“At first it seemed nigh on impossible to find a sustainable and economical solution, especially when it comes to downgauged products. Finally, after two years of very close collaboration, development work and countless trials together with Braskem, we are now in a position to offer the market a solution to the PCR demand in stretch film production which is certain to delight end users… a satisfying answer on both the raw material side as well as the manufacturing side,”said SML’s stretch film product manager Thomas Rauscher.