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The future of plastic materials: The development of PVC free compounds


TPE materials combine the mechanical properties of vulcanised elastomers with the processing features of thermoplastics, making them suitable for a wide variety of applications.

TPE materials are particularly popular in sensitive and highly-regulated markets such as food and beverage packaging, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and medical technology as they are capable of complying with the multifaceted requirements associated with a range of statutory guidelines, regulations and specifications. 

Actega DS started to focus its attention on PVC-free solutions and sustainable production at an early stage with the development of PVC-free granulates for crown corks and aluminium closures in the early 1980s and metal composite closures in the mid-2000s. The development of Actega’s PROVALIN closure sealing compound without PVC or plasticisers for all types of metal closures in 2011 marked a success story.

The demanding and sophisticated material recipes are suitable for contact with food in accordance with EU and FDA guidelines; bio-compatibility and harmlessness on contact with the body have been verified in line with ISO 10993 and USP. 

Specialising in strictly-regulated markets and highly-sensitive areas of application for decades, Actega DS is highly focussed on high-performance TPE materials whose enormous flexibility, and high thermal and media resistance have proven perfect alternatives to vulcanised rubber, PVC and silicone in almost every area – particularly in the area of food and beverage packaging. 

Apart from the many regulations specified by the EU Plastics Directive and its positive lists for additives and monomers as well as specified limit values for individual substances, detailed demands are also formulated in terms of sealing materials: All of the individual recipe components of the material have to be examined critically in terms of a possible hazard potential. The raw materials must be firmly incorporated in the sealing matrix to prevent them from being rinsed out. Auxiliaries used during processing must not leave any residue in the sealing material. 

These demands favour TPE granulate as a material, which can be manipulated as required by means of thermal forming processes. Cross-linkers or other reactive additives are not necessary and there is no danger of any residue. 

TPE is therefore the appropriate material for developing recipes for the PROVALIN portfolio, which now includes ten variants for hot filling and pasteurization, for cold filling and cold chain, for high temperature resistance and sterilisation, for Twist-Off, Press-Twist, Bandguard closures and for all types of filling materials.

Actega DS will be focusing on TPE as an excellent alternative to PVC-based compounds at the K-Fair to be held October 16 – 23.

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