Milliken DeltaMax modifier to help PP manufacturers and recyclers boost efficiency
DeltaMax 5000a to drive operating efficiencies and higher performance of PP ICPs from durable goods to food packaging
Introduced at K 2019, the global plastics industry conference held in Düsseldorf, Germany, in October, Milliken & Company's newest product in its family of DeltaMax Performance Modifiers is designed to expand use of the additive into all market segments, including food packaging and recycled plastics.
Milliken unveiled the company's reactive extrusion platform at the NPE 2018 show in the United States. The existing technology allows injection molders to make stronger parts using more efficient manufacturing parameters and source a broader range of raw materials.
The new additive, called DeltaMax 5000a, is expected to drive polypropylene (PP) innovation at the resin producer level, according to Emily Blair, Milliken's global product line manager.
"DeltaMax 5000a will allow resin producers to expand the performances of their resin portfolios and to boost their productivity by increasing the throughput of their reactors," Blair said, adding that molding products from polypropylene are always seeking the "trifecta" of properties, meaning high melt flow and excellent impact resistance while maintaining good stiffness. "But, until now, tweaking the material for one property has always meant sacrificing another one of those properties."
With DeltaMax Performance Modifiers—which can raise melt flow while optimizing impact properties—such trade-offs are largely a thing of the past, Blair said. By maximizing the impact strength and melt flow of resins without compromising stiffness performance, processors using the DeltaMax-modified resins are now able to use PP in a wider range of applications in more cost-effective ways. Running high-melt-flow resins allows converters to be more productive, and make more complex parts, all while also improving their carbon footprint by reducing scrap and using less energy in the molding process.
In addition, the DeltaMax technology is effective in modifying post-consumer and post-industrial recycled resins. It elevates impact and melt flow to levels associated with virgin resins. This unique capability allows compounders and converters to incorporate up to 100 percent recycled PP without sacrificing performance or processing.
With FDA approvals expected by year end, Milliken's new performance modifier will expand usage of the product into food packaging, driving benefits for caps, closures and thin-wall packaging. "Milliken is currently pursuing food approvals for Europe, as well," noted Blair, adding that these approvals are expected in late 2020.
She continued: "The industry has long struggled to achieve cold-temperature impact performance for these segments. Maximizing the flow characteristics of these resins and gaining impact performance in cold temperature settings has not been achieved to date. DeltaMax will set a new standard for what is possible."
DeltaMax 5000a is commercially available, with a full, global roll-out set for 2020. According to Milliken, the launch of this latest grade will greatly expand potential end-use applications for DeltaMax-modified PP copolymers beyond what is done today.
Essentially, Blair explained, DeltaMax additives mean that players at various points in the supply chain — including resin producers, compounders, injection molders and recyclers — stand to benefit from the performance advantages offered by the DeltaMax family.
The net effect, according to Blair, "is that producers, converters, brand owners and OEMs can now meet market needs for better durability, enhanced creative designs and the environmentally responsible use of plastic, all while keeping a keen eye on improving sustainability and reducing costs."
She added, "DeltaMax is becoming a major driver for innovation in many parts of the world, including Europe," and Milliken is working now to expand that effect across the supply chain. The end goal for all users, she noted, is to enable the manufacture of better-performing products, more profitably and more sustainably. The growing portfolio of DeltaMax Performance Modifiers checks all those boxes.