Styrolux® HS 70, an innovation showcased at the K 2007 plastics trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, has now gone into one of its first serial productions in Europe, namely, at AXIAL, an Italian film manufacturer.
AXIAL has just started to produce shrink films made of BASF’s SBC (styrene butadiene copolymer), and is distributing the material to the main converters, not only in Italy. Sutter, e.g., an Italian producer of cleaning products, is using them to sleeve-wrap its bottles. AXIAL decided in favor of the new film material because of its optimized shrinkage behavior in comparison to the commercially available SBC/PS blends. Films made of the new material can reach final shrinkage values of up to 80%, which allows containers having a wide array of shapes to be tightly sleeve-wrapped.
“Our customer Sutter, which so far had shrink-wrapped its bottles with a PET shrink film, is now introducing our film made of Styrolux® HS 70. This eliminates the so-called “smile effect” – folding, for example, at the neck of the bottle – that up to now had been encountered at the transition from large radii to small radii in objects having a complex geometry,” explains Marco Ruspa, technical manager at AXIAL. Moreover, this very lightweight material yields about 30% more film per kilogram of plastic than is the case with PVC or PET. Besides, unlike PET, Styrolux HS 70 does not require any pre-drying during processing, which means that this material is an energy-efficient and cost-effective alternative.
BASF’s new Styrolux® HS 70 has been specially optimized for the requirements of high-quality shrink films. When this styrene plastic is used to make shrink films, it yields a combination of extraordinary optical and mechanical properties, i.e., excellent transparency and high gloss in conjunction with greater stiffness and toughness. The fact that the new shrink films can be printed on without difficulty allows manufacturers of brand name articles to give their packaging an esthetically pleasing appearance and to create many types of design so as to visually distinguish their products.