The modified skin packaging process helps prevent product rejects and therefore cuts back on the raw material waste. It also saves material in the skin film application process when compared with converting polyethylene, the material used in an early development stage. Both the skin film and its production residue can be recycled in the polyethylene waste stream.
Because of its chemical structure, Surlyn is melt-stable and tough, even when heated, Ulrich Zappe, managing director of Zappe Verpackungsmaschinen, said in the press release. "This is particularly important for three-dimensional components, as it enables very high draw ratios without the risk of the film tearing at the edges."
The material's good heat absorption makes the film stretchable after only 10 seconds of heating, instead of the 15 seconds required for polyethylene, when working with the company's SKVA-5050 3D skin-packaging machine. This saves process energy and reduces cycle times, Zappe said. "This is particularly important when the machine -- as is the case at the Miele plant in Warendorf -- is an integral part of the overall production process, and is required to fit a specific cycle rate."
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Rob, that's what it looks like to me, too, and why I called it a no-brainer decision. Now, if they can just figure out how to make it out of an organic material that doesn't compete with food production or kill trees, it will be an even better solution.
Jim, that's a good question. But this was not designed for UV protection, and it was designed to peel off easily without damaging the surface it has adhered to. So I doubt it would be a good candidate for those applications.
I've left a clear coat on the backsplash of my dryer, and then wasn't sure if I should have, since it began to peel off unevenly. Wish I'd had this stuff instead, as well as clear instructions!
Thanks, Rob. This one looks like a no-brainer choice. The entire process is speeded up, and costs all appear to be the same or lower for that reason, as well as for the decline in waste of both raw material in reject products sent back, as well as less waste in the skin film application process. The skin film process materials can be recycled in an existing waste stream, so no special handling is required there. No information was given about cost differentials between materials alone, but this is a materials-plus-process system, so that might be difficult and/or less relevant to measure.
Any idea if the packaging-for-shipment intent could evolve into a permanent outer protective jacket-? I usually leave the protective films on new appliances and cellphones for as long as they still cling --- the one on our oven's back-splash membrane switch panel is still there today.Question is, would the Surlyn hold up as a permanent coating on outdoor items such as patio furniture to keep thinks looking newer longer-?(Thinking about UV degradation).
Dave, thanks for the Surlyn feedback. It looks like a pretty amazing material, and I noticed the high gloss right away. Interesting that a version of it has been applied to injection molding. I'll check that out.
Thanks, naperlou. I like reporting on improvements that result from better design engineering, or that benefit engineers, but also what might be thought of as a form of technology transfers: using one or more technologies that have previously been applied to some apps and figuring out how they can benefit other apps or uses.
Surlyn ionomer is good stuff. Besides the use of Surlyn in packaging films, a blend of Surlyn ionomer and nylon-6, called Surlyn Reflections, is available as a mold-in-color injection molding compound. (Although originally developed by DuPont, Surlyn Reflections is sold by LTL Color Compounders). It has the highest gloss of any mold-in-color plastic I've seen. It looks for all the world like a high-quality paint job. We are looking at using a mineral filled grade for improved rigidity and temperature resistance.
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