Exceed S offers benefits for heavy duty sacks (pictured) and other packaging formats.

Multi-layer PE packaging film: better toughness, toughness and recycling.

Flexible film design is fraught with solutions and complexity. Designers use their skills to select resins that provide a satisfactory balance of mechanical performance and ease of extrusion. Then they try to overcome the deficiencies by mixing lower amounts of other resins or increasing the number of layers to meet the performance requirements of the final product. The complex processes involved in producing and converting these poly-resin and co-extrusion structures into printed, durable packaging are thus subject to inefficiency, scrap and human error.

Shifting from film production to industry trends, the growth of e-commerce increases package performance and durability requirements, and the brand owner’s desire to incorporate higher percentages of recycled content increases the need for premium resins that help designers get more done with fewer resources.

These new resins use the latest innovations in catalysts and polymers to deliver the toughest and hardest resins possible to help reduce the need for blending, help simplify plant operations, and help improve film performance and package durability for brand owners and the end user.

Examine the challenges of complexity in film design.

The primary difficulty when designing and producing high performance flexible films is to increase performance while reducing the number of resin and layers. Compromises, such as the well-known trade-off between mechanical performance and ease of handling, make this tricky.

Consider the case for a cost-effective, three-layer, Ziegler-Natta-based, linear low-density polyethylene (ZN LLDPE) structure. These film designs usually have relatively low robustness, thus a film designer may take the following sequential steps to deliver higher performance:

  • Upgrade to Linear Low Density Polyethylene (mLLDPE), which will greatly increase the film’s durability – with some sacrifice for processing, stiffness, and optics (eg, clarity, gloss).
  • Reclaim some of the lost stiffness by adding High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) to the base coat – with some sacrifice in stiffness.
  • Add high-pressure low-density polyethylene to leather for higher melt strength, higher yield, improved optics, and easier machining – with some sacrifice in toughness.

It becomes clear that efforts to achieve an acceptable balance of high performance become increasingly complex as more resins, blends and performance compromises entail. Furthermore, real-world issues such as the manpower and equipment involved in the staging, feeding and handling of a more complex process increase the potential for reliability caused by downtime, inadvertent human error, and associated inefficiencies and production losses.

Simplified solutions.

Simpler solutions that can help reduce complexity and reduce settlement are now commercially available with the introduction of Exceed™ S Performance PE from ExxonMobil. The combination of advanced product technologies and processes aligned to specific needs through years of close collaboration with our customers has resulted in the development of these tough, tough, and easy-to-process resins. The performance is that lean blends of up to 20% HDPE in LLDPE can often be substituted, depending on the resins used in the pre-existing structure and the needs of a particular application.

When used in the base layer of a flexible, multi-layer bag, these new performance polymers act as a solid, rigid, and functional layer that enables the use of low-density leather resins to improve package tightness and performance with similar hardness. However, some applications benefit more from Exceed S Performance PE leathers, as the base coat can then be used to absorb other necessary resins. Regardless of the layer the resins are used in, the higher melt strength, lower melt pressure, and higher yield, relative to other metallocene-based LLDPE resins, can help reduce the need to add LDPE to improve processing.

During development, high-frequency dart-drop impact tests and, in cases, needle puncture tests demonstrated hardness and durability that surpassed market references; Laboratory extruder tests that simulate production by a transformer verify higher production levels and lower melt pressure than market references. Success in the laboratory led to the commercial release of three grades of new Exceed S Performance PE designed to run on most blown film lines, including those specified by melt pressure or melt temperature. One of the grades can also be processed in some casting lines.

Three grades of Exceed S Performance PE are commercially available worldwide. The main characteristics are explained below:c

ExxonMobilThe main characteristics of three commercially available grades of Exceed S.

100 cooperation and counting.

Market interest was strong during development with active collaboration underway with over 75 resin grade adapters in more than 100 applications globally. In addition, our internal testing demonstrated several advantages over market references, including:

  • Unwrapped bags, medium sized bags and standing bags for liquid and solid goods; It is used in the substrate to eliminate HDPE and improve durability without losing hardness (as discussed above).
  • Sealant nets For laminated bags, especially PE//PE liquid-filled and solid pillowcases made using Machine Direction Printing (MDO) grids; Used in the base layer of mesh sealants for enhanced durability and durability.
  • heavy bags for polymer resin, agricultural and industrial bags weighing 25 to 50 kg; It is used in pulp and leather to produce a film that provides excellent tearing and stiffness while adding less HDPE. Shown below:
Alami / Zonar / Julija SabicHeavy Duty Bags for agricultural and industrial sacks benefit from excellent tearing and stiffness with less HDPE added.
  • Hot packing bags in boxes For fluid filling with extruded bladder and spout; It is used in skin layers to reduce elastic cracking and clogging by means of a high sealing initiation temperature (SIT). Shown below:
Scientific / AjifotostockPackaged product packaging benefits from reduced elastic cracking and blocking.
  • agricultural silo bags Such as large size horizontal grain storage bags; Used in both pulp and leather to improve machine tear direction, tangential direction creep resistance, arrow impact, and needle puncture into 6% thinner film. Shown below:
Scientific / Gabriella BertoliniAgricultural silo bags benefit from improved performance and a thinner scale.
  • Air tube bags for shipping goods via e-commerce; Used in coex-structure skins containing polyamide to improve needle-puncture in a film that is 17% thinner or uses 10% less polyamide but offers similar performance.

More efficient value chain.

S Performance Polyethylene resins offer potential savings at every step of the flexible packaging and industrial film value chain. With industry-leading combinations of hardness and durability combined with ease of processing and higher extrusion production potential, these resins can help simplify plant operations. Its inherently good melting strength and high toughness can help produce smooth, flat, and low-expansion films that can help improve conversion efficiency. Likewise, combinations of high hardness, falling dart effect, and puncture resistance help enhance film durability and create opportunities to further improve the final package and synthetic film durability.

Exceed S Performance PE provides potential savings at every step in the value chain, as described below:

ExxonMobilExceed S performance PE provides potential savings at every step in the value chain.

For more information on Exceed S Polyethylene, please download a white paper titled, “Rethinking Flexible Film Design for Simpler Solutions and a More Efficient Value Chain.”

About the author

Tom Miller is currently the Marketing Director for Exceed S Performance Polyethylene at ExxonMobil Product Solutions Co. For more than 25 years, Tom has been responsible for the development, marketing and deployment of new polyolefin products while working collaboratively with customers to improve performance and value from their applications. Twenty-three of those years were spent leading technology, marketing and manufacturing at ExxonMobil. Today, Tom applies these skills in launching and growing the Exceed S Performance PE platform. Tom holds a BA in Ceramic Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla, an MA, and a Ph.D. in Polymer Science from the University of Florida.

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