TAPPI’s International Flexible Packaging & Extrusion Division will host a half-day symposium with multiple presentations that include technical advances and fundamental knowledge in film extrusion. In addition to receiving technical information from the presentations, participants can also connect with TAPPI’s film extrusion experts from various parts of the value chain.
There is no additional fee to attend the Symposium, but you must register plans to attend.
10:00 – 10:30am – Optimizing Film Bending Stiffness and Coefficient of Friction for High-Speed Converting
Daniel Ward, Sr. Technical Service Specialist, NOVA Chemicals
Thin polymer films with high Coefficient of Friction (COF) often perform poorly on packaging lines due to their tendency to buckle or elongate under stress. Film buckling, leads to inconsistent package dimensions and other flaws. Lowering the film’s COF by addition of slip agents reduces drag or unbalanced forces during converting can improve the packages’ dimensional consistency. However, since friction can never be eliminated, reducing COF offers limited utility. Improving the film’s buckling resistance by increasing bending stiffness may be a practical, complimentary strategy to resolve film buckling. A better understanding of the combined effects of film COF and bending stiffness can help manufacturers optimize multilayer films without increasing gauge or sacrificing key performance criteria.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the combined effects of bending stiffness and COF on the convert-ability of films in vertical form-fill-seal pouch (VFFS) lines. Specifically, we examined dimensional changes in VFFS pouches made using similar films with variable bending stiffness and COF values. The results suggest that films with the right balance of high bending stiffness and low COF exhibit less buckling and are less prone to tracking, bunching, or slipping issues in VFFS conversions. A proposed mechanism is provided to explain how high COF and low bending can lead to unbalanced forces in the film and inconsistent dimensions in the finished package.
10:45 – 11:15am – Application of MDO Technology for New Sustainable Packaging Solutions
Mike Andrews, Sr. Process & Application Engineer, W&H
Windmoeller and Hoelscher is pleased to present new developments to produce oriented films for sustainable packaging solutions. The orientation of film products has been known for many years. The process optimizes the alignment of the polymer in the stretching direction to improve both the mechanical and optical properties, as well as the barrier properties of the stretched film. This allows for superior film properties at a much thinner gauge. When printed and laminated to other multilayer substrates, new packaging solutions can be produced that are fully recyclable. We are pleased to have the opportunity to present these new technology and sustainable film opportunities that have been developed in conjunction with our many partners in the resin, additive and converting industry.
11:30 – 12:00pm – Processing Parameter Effects on Blown and Cast Film Extrusion
Wes Hobson, TS&D Scientist, Dow Chemical
A brief look at the different process variables in blown and cast film and their influence on film properties. This presentation will look at how we can influence film properties using only process variables and not changing film structure. We will discuss the pros and cons of film processing and how the variables might influence film microstructure. Finally, we will briefly review data and discuss balancing film properties by using process variables to enhance film attributes while minimizing negative effects.
12:00 – 2:00pm – LUNCH BREAK ON SHOW FLOOR
2:00 – 2:30pm: Solving Common Problems in Film Extrusion
Karen Xiao, VP of Technology, Macro Engineering
As technology in film manufacturing has advanced, the industry has evolved from producing monolayer films to multilayer films. Blown film co-extrusion is a process used to generate multilayer films, servicing a variety of food and non-food packaging applications. Depending on the product requirements, a wide array of materials can be incorporated into the film structure to attain desired properties.
Process engineers working in this field must have a fundamental understanding of polymer rheology in order to properly design and understand equipment and select process conditions. Without sufficiently understanding polymer properties, unwanted issues may occur during processing, which can lead to defects in the final film. Although producing multilayer films is advantageous and provides opportunities for improvements in film properties, the increased structural complexity creates new challenges for process engineers. There are four key factors to consider in order to successfully produce a multilayer film: 1) polymer selection, 2) process equipment design, 3) layer arrangement, and 4) process conditions. Problems in blown film co-extrusion arise when insufficient consideration is given to one or more of these factors. This presentation will explore common issues associated with film extrusion, along with suggested troubleshooting guidelines.
2:45 – 3:45pm – Blown Film Die Technology Overview
John Perdikoulias, President, Compuplast North America
The presentation will give an overview of the various types of annular dies that have been used in the Blown Film process. The flow of the polymer within each type will be explained and the advantages and disadvantages of each type will be discussed. Some design criteria and recommendations for mono and coextrusion applications will also be provided.
For more information on this half-day Film Extrusion Symposium, please contact TAPPI Division Manager Lisa Rushin by email or by phone at 770-209-7313. For more information on PTXPO, being held March 28 – 30, 2023 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, please visit their website.