A better kind of barrier

25 September 2018 by

Inline top-coat metallising technology has opened up a whole new range of applications for barrier films. Dante Ferrari, president of Celplast Metallized Products, explains the significance of the company's newest product line.


Where did Celplast come from?

Dante Ferrari: Celplast Metallized Products was founded in 1983 as a contract metalliser for major polypropylene suppliers in North America, and soon diversified into metallising different substrates. It also developed its own proprietary products, focusing on the high-barrier and high-metal adhesion markets, continuously innovating and providing superior quality. It strives to give its customers the opportunity to succeed.

Celplast's culture is its biggest strength and driving force. The company draws from a diverse array of backgrounds and nationalities with different viewpoints, and we are stronger for it. We stand by the principles of the FiSH Philosophy, promoting a culture of accountability where people support one another and take responsibility, while instilling humour in our lives.

DURAMET polyester, with its exceptional water and oxygen barrier properties, is a game-changer.

What's most important for your customers?

Package integrity. With our barrier films, customers are confident they are getting the barrier they need in the finished package. The DURAMET product line is made on the first commercial metalliser in the world with the patented inline top-coating METACOAT process. DURAMET offers superior barrier and enhanced barrier protection in downstream converting."

The DURAMET product line offers ultra-high barrier metallised films with up to ten times the barrier properties of standard metallised films. The top coating acts as a protective layer, absorbing the flexing stress and minimising effects on the metallised layer; this results in better performance during Gelbo flexing than standard metallised films. It maintains shelf life through the supply chain and improves productivity, sealing at higher filling speeds than packages made with aluminium foil.

DURAMET expands Celplast's foil replacement portfolio that includes films such as FOILMET and FOILMET PLUS. These films offer excellent water-vapour transmission rate (WVTR) and oxygen transmission rate (OTR) barrier values, with proven success in many foil replacement applications, ranging from powdered drinks, soups and coffee, to pet food, snacks and even liquid packaging.

There is also strong interest in Celplast's metallised low-density polyethylene films to replace the two barrier and sealant layers in a pouch with a combined barrier-sealant layer. These films offer high laminated bond strengths and barrier properties, similar to a metallised biaxially oriented polypropylene or metallised PET film, depending on which barrier layer is being replaced.

How significant is Celplast's new technology for the converting world?

The revolutionary METACOAT technology can be applied on different substrates and has provided barrier improvements ranging from six to eight times better than traditional metallised films.

DURAMET polyester, with its exceptional water and oxygen barrier properties, is a game-changer for the flexible packaging industry. It allows converters to eliminate layers, streamline production, simplify their raw material stream and significantly reduce the carbon footprint of their products. The improvement in Gelbo-flex performance is critical in the growing ecommerce space to meet consumers' expectations for product appearance and performance.

In head-to-head tests with four-ply PET/foil/nylon/cast polypropylene adhesive laminates, three-ply PET/DURAMET/ CPP adhesive laminates achieved similar barrier and bond results to the four-ply foil structure.

DURAMET's barrier properties include a WVTR below 0.15g/m2/day, and OTR below 0.15cc/m2/day, for applications where ultra-high barrier properties and moisture resistance are a consideration. These barrier properties had not been previously available in the metallised film market and bring an array of new opportunities to the converting world.

What new regulations will the industry need to be prepared for in the next few years?

Celplast believes end-of-life will be a key area to watch in the near future. There is increasing consumer pressure against the plastics industry, and consumer packaged goods are setting aggressive goals for sustainability and recyclability for 2025 and beyond. The infrastructure for recyclability or compostability hasn't been fully developed, and more innovation in recyclable or compostable structures is needed to fulfil the needs of the markets and consumers.

Where are you looking to expand next?

With the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement in effect since 2017, Celplast is looking at European growth, especially in the high-barrier market, where it can offer innovative products with superior quality. The pharmaceutical market is another area of interest, as well as the cold-chain packaging space, where metallised films are used to reflect heat away from packaging during shipments of temperature-sensitive products.

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