GERMAN designers of the famous Schütz Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) have unveiled a significant new safety component for their range of 1000L composite Ecobulk containers.
DSL Packaging , the Australian and SE Asian licensed manufacturers of Schütz IBCs will officially launch the exciting new IBC technology at this years AUSPACK exhibition.
The new security layer technology involves the application of as many as six different protective layers within the blow moulding process of the HDPE (high density polyethelene) IBC inner bottles. The specific properties of these additional layers are expected to offer new possibilities for plastic packaging applications.
Fast replacing the traditional 200L steel drum as a more efficient form of mini-bulk packaging, IBCs are 1000L cubic containers that consist a reusable HDPE inner bottle surrounded by a steel cage, which is mounted on a metal, plastic or wooden pallet for economical storage and transportation.
Industry sources believe this new packaging concept is set to change the way many diverse products are stored and transported, particularly those where permeation, odour release or oxygenation in a plastic container was previously an issue.
The security layer technology is also considered a breakthrough for the safe transportation of solvent based products, given that oxygen, carbon dioxide and other gases can neither enter nor escape.
DSL's managing director, Stephen Johnston confirmed the new technology represented a significant innovation for the Australian and Asian markets, where the company could expand into markets previously considered unsuitable for this form of plastic packaging.
"The additional security layers within the plastic offer real advantages for a number of common liquid products,” said Stephen Johnston.
"In respect to food products, the security layers not only prevent permeation, but actually act to increase the shelf life of food and beverage products stored inside the containers.
"Studies conducted in Germany have shown the shelf life of orange juice increases by 4%, and that the shelf life of milk, beer, salad dressing and olive oil all increase by a staggering 15% when packaged using the Schütz security layer technology.”
"This in itself is a major step toward for the future packaging of food products in our IBCs, where previously short shelf life was a real issue for us,” he said.
The new Schütz technology offers either a three or six security layer option, both of which involve a continuous multi-layer blow moulding extrusion system, as part of the manufacturing process.
The three layer option consists a thin third outer layer in addition to the two layers of PE (polyethelene). This provides UV protection, as well as being a conductive or non-chargeable outer layer, designed specifically for products where there is a risk of flammable gas or vapour being released into the atmosphere.
The additional inner layer offered with the six layer option is based on material embedded in two adhesives within a security layer known as EVOH. Made up of a combination of ethylene and vinyl alcohol, it acts as a barrier to gas, aromas and odours such as D-limonene and orange essence.
EVOH is resistant to oils and fats as well as organic solvents, such as Toluene and Xylene.
"The EVOH layer in the six layer Schütz IBC's will be of particular interest to the agriculture, chemical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries,” said Mr Johnston.
"In the past, many liquid products associated with these industries had considerable permeation issues, which have now been overcome by this new Schütz technology.”
The new security layer IBCs are expected to be available within the Australasian region in early 2006. In the meantime anyone interested in the range, should contact their nearest DSL Packaging office.
DSL Packaging will be exhibiting at stand number 366 at AUSPACK from October 11-14.