From 1964 to 2014 the use of plastics has increased by 20 times from 15 million metric tons to 311 Mt in 2014. The growth of the plastics industry in consumer products is widely viewed as a negative contributor to the environment because of the emission of greenhouse gasses, air, water and land pollution, and depletion of water. These environmental costs have led to arguments that plastics should be replaced with alternative materials, however recent studies from Trucost and the American Chemistry Council modeled the substitution of plastic with alternative materials like paper, steel, aluminum and glass, and the model suggests that a move from plastics may come at an even higher environmental impact.
In the food packaging industry, using a material composition that extends shelf life is a key component to ensuring the safety of the product and preserving the taste of the food. In addition, using packaging material that prolongs a products shelf life can drastically cut down on waste of perishable products, and creates a longer window for grocery stores to stock product before it reaches the hands of the consumer. A great way to achieve this is by using a packaging material that reduces the amount of oxygen that permeates the plastic, such as EVOH. Continue reading to learn more about this barrier material.
Impact Plastics is adding new production capabilities to our current portfolio of services! While our focus still continues to be thin gauge precision sheet, this new addition will expand our product offering in the thick gauge sheet market.
In an effort to consistently meet the requirements of our customers applications, Impact Plastics recently set out on a new project to have our 1110E HDPE sheet registered with the FDA under a DMF number. This particular project came about when a thermoforming customer servicing a large pharmaceutical company required that our sheet formulation be approved in order for the opportunity to move forward.
Continue reading to learn more about achieving a DMF Certificate for packaging materials.
A critical specification for outdoor thermoforming applications is weatherability. Elements of the formed part such as color and the integrity of the part itself can be compromised when exposed to the sometimes-harsh forces of Mother Nature. Snow, sleet, rain, extreme heat or cold, and prolonged exposure to the sun can all negatively affect the formed part. As a result, concerns regarding aesthetics and design functionality become especially important when designing a part for outdoor applications because there are different variables and conditions to consider. Continue reading to learn more about how you can protect your thermoformed part from the outdoor elements.
In our most recent post in the “Learn More About your Plastic Sheet” blog series we featured our extruded TPO and highlighted some of the characteristics and attributes of the material. Today, we will switch gears to discuss a very diverse polymer that is used in a variety of end use markets from household appliances, to automotive interiors, to construction tool sets and electronics – Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS).
The versatility of ABS allows this material to find a home in many unexpected niche markets, and different grades of this material can be specifically engineered to satisfy specialty applications. In this blog we expand upon on the unique properties of ABS that allow it to find a home in such a wide variety of end-use markets.
In our most recent post in the “Learn More About your Plastic Sheet” blog series we featured our extruded HIPS material and highlighted some of the characteristics and attributes of the material. Today, we will switch gears to a polymer that services a more industrial market where material durability for long-term use is paramount - TPO, or Thermoplastic Olefin. TPO is a combination of polymer and filler blends usually consisting of some fraction of a thermoplastic (generally block copolymer polypropylene), an elastomer or rubber, and filler such as calcium carbonate or talc.
To learn more about TPO’s characteristics and typical uses continue reading!
One of the primary end-uses for our ABS sheet is in decorative paint and film lamination applications for the automotive industry. But this is not just any ABS sheet - in order to supply material that ultimately becomes a piece of a vehicle, the material requires a perfect surface, or as close to it as possible. To describe this surface the industry coined the term "Class 'A' Surface." This terminology is used to indicate the requirement for a near-perfect surface quality virtually free from defects for applications where aesthetics and visual appeal are the main focus.
When designing a new part, a critical component of this process is determining the best processing method. While there are variety of plastic molding processes to consider, thermoforming and injection molding are two of the most popular methods used in the molding of plastic parts. However, there are a variety of factors to consider such as cost per part, tooling cost, design, and aesthetics, all of which are ultimately affected by the processing method used.
Below are a few key differences between these two popular plastics processing methods:
When a thermoforming company or OEM form fill and seal business brings a new food packing project to market, the process of trialing and sourcing packaging materials and formulations can be a long and complicated. Not only are material performance and functional properties pertinent considerations, but there are also stringent safety and quality requirements that must be met for packaging materials approved food contact applications.