According to the British Market Research Institute Smithers Pira in its report „The Future of High Barrier Packaging Films to 2019“ the worldwide consumption of high barrier films in 2014 was 1.76 million tons with a market value of 15,9 Billion US$. Thanks to the growing requirements for packaging materials which offer a higher degree of protection to food, beverages and pharmaceutical products, growth rates of 5% p.a. until 2019 are expected.
Very good reasons for a select group of European manufacturers of high barrier films to travel to Augsburg to attend the High Barrier Film Day event on 22.October 2015 at Hosokawa Alpine’s factory. The program was dedicated exclusively to the title theme. What market potential is offered by high barrier films? How is the market for stand-up pouches developing? What advantages are offered by 11 instead of only 9 layers? What are the developments in raw materials in this field? How can the quality of high barrier films be controlled and further improved?
Answers to these and many other questions were given to the participants during the course of top class presentations by the companies Switten SARL, ExxonMobil Chemical Europe Inc., Hosokawa Alpine, NDC Technology und Bostik SA., detailing Know-How und new developments.
11 layers offer significantly more flexibility.
Based on the successful X series Hosokawa Alpine developed a die-head with 11 spiral distributors which was exhibited for the first time on the K 2013. During the High Barrier Film Day on 22.10.2015 the 11-Layer Co-Extrusion Line was demonstrated under production conditions in the Test Centre.
During the presentation of the line the enormous flexibility of the line concept was emphasized which is made possible by 11 individual layers of similar thickness. A wide variety of raw materials can be processed – despite widely differing viscosities- in every layer and thus allow completely new layer structures to be developed e.g. for laminating applications.
Furthermore 11 layers offer additional possibilities to balance layer structures. As a result asymmetric film structures with polyamide for thermoforming applications with significantly reduced curling effect can be produced Thanks to additional PA layers such films display higher elasticity and, after thermoforming, more evenly drawn out in the border areas. Thicker layers, e.g. from cheaper raw material, are easy to achieve on an 11-Layer line by using the same material on two extruders supplying two neighbouring layers. Using this method significantly higher throughput can be achieved for certain structures in comparison to “Standard 9 Layer Structures”.
Last but by no means least the additional number of layers of an 11 layer line offer the possibility to formulate new material combinations e.g. to achieve reductions in total layer thickness in order to reduce cost or to create a completely new products e.g. to eliminate a downstream lamination requirement.