ExxonMobil introduces new expanded polypropylene
ExxonMobil has introduced a new foamable polypropylene (PP) grade as an easy-to-process and affordable sustainable solution for high-volume applications, including food and beverage packaging, industrial packaging, building products and automotive parts. foam, resulting in a 30% increase in product stiffness compared to standard HMS PP foam, resulting in significant cost reductions.
"Historically, foam applications have been primarily amorphous polymers, such as polystyrene (PS), polyurethane (PU) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Foamed PP is a relatively new advancement, introduced only about 20 years ago, but it has never gained much commercial traction," said Olivier Lorge, global market development manager for ExxonMobil's polypropylene, Vistamaxx and adhesives business, "Customers can now challenge reality and rethink light foamed PP parts in high-volume applications because of the value of using our new Achieve Advanced PP6302E1. The commercial potential of foamable PP can now be developed and fully realized."
Achieve Advanced PP6302E1 is said to be a viable alternative to PS foam (with its accompanying VOC and monomer issues) and paper and paperboard grease-resistant packaging, such as fast food packaging that may be coated with perfluorinated and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFA), which are increasingly being regulated. As of January 2021, PFA will be automatically phased out in three years.
The new PP grade can reportedly provide value in use in a number of ways, eliminating trade-offs and setting new standards for sustainable foamed PP parts. For example, it can be processed in existing PS foam lines using a variety of blowing agents, providing product integrity while reducing material use, and can be recycled in those communities with proper collection and recycling facilities.
Lorge said, "Converters, brand owners and OEMs can explore opportunities in a range of applications to benefit from lightweighting and insulation while taking advantage of PP properties."
In food and beverage packaging, Achieve Advanced PP6302E1 is rigid and economical. It also provides insulation and long-lasting resistance to oil and moisture, even in high-temperature applications such as microwave ovens and dishwashers. The package maintains the temperature of the product contents during transport and allows for a comfortable touch surface.
"The food packaging industry is experiencing a shift from PS to PP as regulatory and sustainability goals and preferences change, and that trend is expected to continue," Lorge said, "In addition, heat resistance for microwave use remains a key differentiator, making PP a a more attractive option than PS."
In industrial packaging, Achieve Advanced PP6302E1 offers toughness, temperature stability, moisture and chemical resistance, and lightweight installation. The robust packaging is reusable and ideal for replacing corrugated cardboard to protect valuable products.
In building products, Achieve Advanced PP6302E1 provides durability and flexibility for easy installation. The product is thermally stable over a wide range of temperatures and is dimensionally stable against moisture. Acoustic and thermal insulation creates a more energy efficient and comfortable environment.
In automotive components, the stiffness provided by Achieve Advanced PP6302E1 allows vehicle manufacturers to maintain performance characteristics while reducing weight and improving fuel efficiency. The foam construction also provides benefits such as thermal insulation and sound deadening for a more comfortable ride.