Machine manufacturer Windmöller & Hölscher, specialised in the flexible packaging market, is pushing ahead on the development of a range of sustainably designed sample flexible packaging products, with the aim of showing the market the wide range of options available in the field of sustainability and how these can be ‘efficiently produced using both cast film and blown film processes on W&H lines’, explained Dr. Lennart Ederleh, head of technical sales blown film at W&H.
The sample products developed include monomaterial laminates, films with recycled material and a high-barrier film, which uses water-soluble intermediate layers to separate incompatible materials.
According to W&H, the products were produced for demonstration purposes and to stimulate the thinking about alternative, sustainable solutions. “The sample products are the basis for intensive discussions with our customers about which ideas there are and with which technologies they can be implemented,” explained Ederleh.
The company worked with over 20 partners from the entire value chain to develop the solutions. All testing of the downstream processes - printing, converting – was carried out at W&H’s own technology centres. The first new products were displayed at K 2019.
W&H has developed two different versions of monomaterial laminated stand-up pouches, one made of 100% PE offering the same functionalities as conventional films based on a material mix of PET-PE, and one made of PP. The laminate structure consists of 20 ?m BO-PP film and a 60 ?m Cast-PP film with an integrated thin, recyclable barrier coating.
The company also successfully produced recyclable high barrier films incorporating thin layers of a water-soluble BVOH G barrier polymer for the oxygen barrier, rather than conventional EVOH. The film is shredded and washed in water. The BVOH layers dissolve and the pure PA sinks to the bottom, while the PE flakes float on top.
The company also tested packaging solutions – bottle shrink films - using 20% and 30% recycled materials, which were found to provide the same shrink properties and mechanical properties as film based on 100% virgin material.