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Environmentally friendly, bio-based plastics are a possible approach to using plastic in a more sustainable way. By definition, they must be biodegradable. Some are even made from renewable resources such as sugar cane or corn. There is significant potential for the use of bio-plastics, particularly in packaging sectors with a comparatively short service life, such as transport packaging for food or takeaway products.
Bio-plastic – an economic alternative?
However, due to its different material composition, a few challenges in manufacturing biodegradable packaging film have emerged, which have been inhibiting market growth – above all, the material costs. Bio-plastics are approximately four times as expensive as PE. In addition, concessions in terms of mechanical properties have to be made with conventional processing methods. The material's lack of stiffness means that the finishing process is longer, for example when manufacturing compostable bio-plastic bags.
Ultra thin with optimum strength
"We believe in the future viability of bio-plastics as a real alternative in the circular economy. This is why we have developed Ultra Flat Plus: a solution for our customers that increases economic efficiency and significantly improves processing properties," explained Marcel Perrevort, Sales Director at Reifenhäuser Blown Film Polyrema. Reifenhäuser is currently the only company offering this technology. Using the unique inline stretching unit on the haul-off, a 30 percent thinner film is achieved. Down-gauging the still-warm bio-film increases its strength, meaning that the finishing speed also increases – to a level comparable with that of PE films.
High-performance bio-packaging films
Stretching the film with Ultra Flat Plus haul-off is more energy efficient, saving users or customers additional resources. "This small upgrade enables high-quality bio-blown films and bio-winding films to be produced with a simple mono-layer line. The tool's control system is very quickly and intuitively integrated into existing processes," stated Marcel Perrevort.
Reifenhäuser at K 2019
Have we caught your attention for bio-plastics? Visit us from October 16 to 23 at the K trade fair in Düsseldorf: Hall 17, stand C22. You can gain further insights into extrusion technology at our in-house fair in the Reifenhäuser technology center, Troisdorf on October 17, 21, and 22.
About Reifenhäuser Blown Film Polyrema
Reifenhäuser Blown Film Polyrema GmbH & Co. KG is a member of the Reifenhäuser Group based in Troisdorf-Bergheim. A specialist in mono-blown film lines and smaller coextrusion lines and components, Reifenhäuser Polyrema also develops unconventional customer solutions. The lines, ranging from 300 to 3,400 mm in width, process both polyolefins such as LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE and PP and recycling materials, TPU, and other raw materials including water-soluble raw materials. The company currently employs 40 staff under the management of Manfred Kurscheid and Marcel Perrevort.
About the Reifenhäuser Group
The Reifenhäuser Group is the leading provider of innovative technologies and components for plastics extrusion. Founded in 1911, the company delivers advanced solutions to customers around the world through its highly specialized business units. With its technologies and the know-how of its 1,600 employees, Reifenhäuser has the world's largest network of expertise in plastics extrusion technologies. The CEO of the Group is Bernd Reifenhäuser.