How do antistatic additives work?

Antistatic agents are used to manage static charges during various stages of processing and to provide long-term static protection based on end-use applications. 

Static electricity can occur during an imbalance of positive and negative charges in an object.  When enough electrical charges accumulate on the surface, a discharge occurs.  The negative impacts of an electric discharge (e.g. life expectancy, sterility, speed of manufacturing), can affect the product, the packaging, the end user, and even the manufacturing personnel. By using the appropriate antistatic additives, static electricity can be diminished or entirely eliminated.  Antistatic agents can be divided according to their application in two groups: external and internal antistatic agents.

External antistatic agents are temporary and can be applied on the surface of the finished product by dipping, wiping or spraying.  On the contrary, internal antistatic agents are long-lasting and blended into the plastic when its being processed at the extrusion level.  This application attracts water molecules onto the surface and charges dissipate rapidly.  Other benefits of an antistat incorporated into a polymer include: internal and external lubrication, improved processability and mold release.

Amstat internal antistatic agents are designed to be incorporated into the compound or masterbatch.  After processing, the additive migrates to the surface to prevent the buildup of static charge. All of our Amstat products were developed to meet the static decay and surface resistivity requirements of the United States Military Specification MIL-PRF-81705-D in LDPE and LLDPE films.

  • Amstat-H15: is highly concentrated and able to resist high temperatures.  As a general rule, 3% addition level is a good starting point.
  • Amstat-F18: is a highly concentrated amide based antistat.  Suggested starting addition level is 4%-6%.
  • Amstat-AGF: is long lasting and is used as a substitute for a gas diffusing agents.  The recommended addition level for foam is 10% and 6% for film applications.

Amcor's Amstat additives have many applications, including PE foam, blown and cast film.  Contact Amcor, Inc. today for more information on our Amstat line of proven products.

 

 


Additives for Foam Extrusion

When choosing a supplier, it is important to know that the materials you purchase for your operation are of the highest quality and are supported by industry leading technical experts with decades of experience in polymer science.  Amcor, Inc. has become the go-to source for foamers when looking to create new products, solve manufacturing challenges, and enhance material properties.

Corrugation is one such challenge that many extruders face.  Amcor’s corrugation reduction additives include a line of proprietary elastomeric and rheology modifiers that enhance flatness, improve surface quality, and increase lamination speeds.  These low-cost additives can mitigate the need for expensive equipment modifications and allow you to extrude consistently high-quality foam.

Ampro N2 by Amcor, Inc. is a process aid designed to improve surface quality (skin) on polyethylene foam. This process aid significantly increases foam compression strength. Ampro-N2 prevents delayed collapse in large profile foam extrusion and is ideally suited for the production of high-quality foam plank, exercise rollers, and floor underlayment. Ampro-N2 melts without imparting shear heat and in most cases, can be added to the extruder without any process condition adjustments.

Amblend-RV is a proprietary high melt strength copolymer with rheological properties specifically designed to enhance foam resilience and resist set. It is beneficial where softness, resiliency, and flexibility is desired. It can be foamed with physical blowing agents to 1.0 lb/ft3.

Due to our in-depth knowledge of plastic foam, we understand how different physical blowing agents impact the foaming and aging processes.  For over 20 years, Amcor, Inc. has supplied the PE/PP/PS foaming industry with high purity, high quality gases and gas blends. Our gas customers have access to our technical staff’s vast knowledge of foamable resins and additives, the manufacturing processes, and equipment unique to the foam industry. Amcor’s investment in technology and service enables remote tank monitoring. This allows for just-in-time delivery of your blowing agent.

Regardless of what you foam, Amcor, Inc.  is a valuable resource by your side.

 

 


Slips and Mold Releases

Slip additives not only improve the manufacturing of films, but also the plastic molding/extrusion process and the end use properties.  Slip additives work by migrating to the surface and improving coefficient of friction (COF).

Are you a film manufacturer looking for a workhorse?

Amslip SCFB-is a slip powerhouse designed with ultra-high clarity film in mind. Compounded with LDPE, this slip is formulated to be twice as effective as a standard fast slip.  Producers can achieve the target CoF by using less than one half as much slip, ie: 0.75% vs. 1.5% addition level.

Amslip F5- is a concentrated additive that allows the slip to bloom to the surface very quickly.  It is typical that the slip will start blooming to the surface during film production with the majority of the slip migrating to the surface within 24 to 48 hrs. Bloom will continue to improve over the next 7-10 days.  This product is ideal for air bubble film and bubble-out bags.

Amslip S5-is a high purity slow slip where a delay in slip bloom is necessary.  Slip properties will not start to reach the surface of the film until 14 days after manufacturing. Use of this product enhances roll conformance and on-line corona treatment.

I'm an injection molder.  Why do I need slip?

Amease FP Internal Mold Release-Effective at low levels (0.5%-1%), this product provides a cost-effective replacement for external, sprayed mold release agents.  Proven benefits include: resin flow and dispersion improvement, faster mold release, and cycle time reduction.

Amcor, Inc. offers a broad variety of slips and mold releases that can be customized to your process, converting, product end use and product life.


Additives for UV Stabilization

Nearly every plastic is prone to degradation when exposed to UV light, such as from sunlight or fluorescent lighting. This degradation can occur during processing or once the product is in service, and the symptoms include brittleness, discoloration, and loss of physical properties such as impact strength, tensile strength, and color - all leading to a reduction in the life span of the plastic. An everyday example of UV degradation is a lawn chair that becomes discolored and brittle over time due to deterioration of the plastic.

UV stabilization additives are chemical compounds that are added to combat the deterioration of the plastic and significantly extend the life span of the final product. UV stabilizers are added at very low levels, often 0.1 - 0.5% of the polymer. These additives can typically be combined with the base polymer during manufacturing or prepared as part of a masterbatch. There are many additives for UV stabilization on the market including Amshield, Amcor’s Ultra Violet Inhibitor stabilizer.

What is Photo Oxidation?

Deterioration of plastic due to UV light is the result of a chemical process referred to as photo oxidation, or photo degradation. Ultra violet rays degrade existing chemical bonds within the polymer chain, weakening the plastic by reducing its molecular weight, leading to loss of strength and other undesired symptoms as previously noted. Molecular degradation, such as photo oxidation, often result in plastic failures so it is important to understand these processes and how to avoid them!

The UV resistance of unprotected polymers varies and depends on the structure and composition. Some plastics are more vulnerable to photo oxidation due to their structure and functional groups. Bonds most vulnerable to photo-oxidation include carbon-nitrogen bonds such as nitrile, amide, and amine; carbon-oxygen bonds such as ether, ester, ketone, and carboxylic acid; carbon-chlorine bonds; oxygen-oxygen bonds such as peroxide; and nitrogen-hydrogen such as amide and amine.

Types of Additives for UV Stabilization

To inhibit the photo oxidation process and protect the plastic from harmful UV rays, UV stabilizers are utilized. The UV protection can be provided in different ways depending on the specific UV stabilizer that is used. In general, the most common types of additives behave as UV absorbers, quenchers, or HALS and in some cases more than one additive can be used to provide the desired level of UV stabilization.

  • UV absorbers: with enough light input, susceptible functional groups in the polymer, called chromophores, generate free radicals via a series of reactions. This form of UV stabilizer, as the name suggests, absorbs the UV radiation to prevent the initiation of photo oxidation reactions. Once absorbed the heat from the UV rays is dissipated through the polymer chain. Black is an excellent UV absorber so paints, dyes, or elemental carbon black are often added to protect plastic products against UV light. Benzotriazoles and hydroxy-phenyltriazines are also examples of UV absorbers.
  • Quenchers: the photo oxidation process involves several reactions that ultimately create free radicals that react with the multiple bonds in the polymer chain, damaging the integrity of the plastic. Quenchers work by quenching the energy that is generated during the photo oxidation reactions, thus, returning excited molecules to a ground state where they are less likely to propagate photo oxidation reactions that produce free radicals. Nickel quenchers are an example of this form of UV stabilizer.
  • HALS: Hindered Amine Light Stabilizers, or HALS, are a form of UV stabilizer that function by targeting and trapping the free radicals produced during photo oxidation, preventing them from reacting with the polymer structure. HALS vary in their structure but generally have the 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine ring structure.

Amcor

Amcor is a manufacturer of polyethylene film and bags, as well as polyolefin compounds, additives, blends, and masterbatches. Amcor has grown from a single product line to hundreds of products and five product divisions. Below are some highlights of Amcor’s additive offerings.

  • Flame Retardants
  • Antistatic – Amstat
  • Processing Aids – Ampro
  • Chemical Blowing Agents – Amcell
  • Masterbatch Colors – Amtone
  • Rheology Modifiers – Amblend
  • Slip – Amease
  • Gas Diffusion Agents – Amage
  • Nucleating Agents – Amron
  • Specialty Chemicals
  • Antiblock & Fillers – Amblock
  • Stabilizers including UVI “Amshield”
  • TiO2 – Amti
  • Cross-Linking Agents

In addition to selling products, we also provide tech support, assistance with your equipment, and process recommendations. Amcor is also a full line distributor of various chemicals, resins, and gases for the plastic industry. With warehousing and distribution facilities across the United States, Mexico, Eastern Europe and China, we service companies of all sizes and locations across multiple industries.

Amcor realizes that quick turnaround, on time delivery, a quality product, and personal service are what it is all about. Contact us today to learn how we can assist with your next project!


How Flame Retardants Work in Plastics

Flame retardants are chemical compounds added to plastics in order to prevent, delay, or slow down combustion, reduce smoke formation, and/or prevent the material from melt collapse (anti dripping). These additives are common in numerous everyday products to avoid the ignition and burning of plastics.

The most common flame retardants are halogenated compounds, which include brominated and chlorinated types. Halogenated flame retardants are highly effective at relatively low load levels. Non-halogen, or halogen free, flame retardants are increasing in demand and include intumescents (phosphorus-based) and metallic oxides. Non-halogen flame retardants require a higher load level, and often need additional adjustments to maintain the mechanical properties of the plastic.

One must consider several factors when selecting a flame retardant. Getting to the desired performance often requires a tailored solution with several trials.

  • What are the test requirements this part needs to pass (burn time, extinguish time, flame spread, smoke development, industry and government regulations, mechanical properties)?
  • What polymers and additives are used in the part?
  • The design, shape, and surface area of the part also play a critical role in combustion.

Flame retardant additives can be compounded with the base polymer or added during the plastic processing step. Sometimes combustion may be prevented by simply adding the flame retardant to a surface layer finish on the final product.

When plastic burns, long-chain molecules of the polymer chain are degraded into smaller hydrocarbon molecules and flammable gases, such as free radicals – a process called pyrolysis. For a fire to begin, fuel, oxygen, and an ignition source must be present. Flame retardants work by interfering or eliminating one of these key ingredients, either physically or chemically. There are a few common methods that flame retardants employ to inhibit combustion and below is a description of each.

  • Gaseous Inhibition: halogenated compounds such as bromines and chlorines are compatible with many base polymers and are the most common flame retardant additives. During pyrolysis, hydrogen and hydroxide free radicals are produced. During a fire, halogenated flame retardants thermally degrade, releasing hydrogen chloride and hydrogen bromide that react with the free radicals in the flame. These newly formed free radicals include the halogens and are less reactive than the original hydrogen and hydroxide free radicals, thus, suppressing the volume of reactive gases available for combustion reactions. Also, this process slows combustion which in turn cools the system, further reducing combustion.
     
  • Solid Char-Formation: this form of flame retardants is often comprised of non-halogen compounds using phosphorous and nitrogen chemistries. During a fire, these types of flame retardants react to form a thick, solid layer of carbon char on the surface of the plastic. This solid layer insulates and shields the plastic, creating a barrier that interrupts the combustion process by hindering the release of more reactive gases.
     
  • Endothermic Cooling: this class of non-halogen flame retardant includes metallic oxides/ hydrated minerals, such as aluminum and magnesium hydroxides. During a fire, these flame retardants use an endothermic reaction to remove heat and release water molecules. The plastic is cooled and limits the amount of reactive gases being formed, thus hindering the combustion process. The use of hydrated compounds as flame retardants is often limited by the low decomposition temperatures of these materials since plastics processing and manufacturing often occurs at high temperatures.

There are many factors to consider when selecting the right flame retardant for a given application including the base polymer being utilized, the specific government and industry regulations and standards that must be met, as well as the desired properties of the polymer such as viscosity and density. Selecting a flame retardant can be a tricky task, which is why it is important to choose a partner, like Amcor, that has extensive expertise in various flame retardants as well as experience with state-of-the-art compounding and blending processes. Amcor will guide you through the selection process to ensure the right additives are chosen for your specific application.

Amcor

Amcor’s flame retardant additives are called “Amout” and include both halogen and non-halogen types.

Amcor is a manufacturer of polyethylene film and bags, as well as polyolefin compounds, additives, blends, and masterbatches. Amcor has grown from a single product line to hundreds of products and five product divisions. In addition to selling products, we also provide tech support, assistance with your equipment, and process recommendations.

Amcor is also a full line distributor of various chemicals, resins, and gases for the plastic industry. With warehousing and distribution facilities across the United States, Mexico, Eastern Europe and China, we service companies of all sizes and locations across multiple industries.

Amcor realizes that on time delivery, a quality product, and personal service are what it is all about. Contact us today to learn how we can assist with your next project!


Blown Film Extrusion Process Explained

Blown films extrusion is one of many polymer manufacturing processes. This method is used to produce commodity and specialized polymer films that are typically used in packaging such as shrink, stretch, barrier films (used to protect deli meat), frozen food packaging, and shopping bags.

There are many types of polymers that can be used in blown film extrusion with the most common being polypropylene and polyethylene (LDPE, HDPE and LLDPE). This method can manufacture monolayer films as well as more complex multi-layer films that involve co-extrusion to combine more than one plastic into a single film.

Process of Blown Film Extrusion

Blown film extrusion can be complex so we will now explain each step of the process in detail! The first step is to melt the polymer in an extruder. Polymer resin, often in the form of beads, is loaded into a hopper and fed into a heated barrel with a screw. The screw is used to transport the polymer down the barrel. The beads are gradually heated to melt the polymer. The heat profile is an important part of extrusion as the polymer may thermally degrade if overheated. When the molten material reaches the end of the barrel, it is extruded through a die. It is at this point that blown film extrusion differs from other extrusion processes.

There are a few different types of dies used in blown film extrusion with the most common being annular, which is a simple circle die. The molten polymer enters the die head and air is injected via a hole in the die center to radially inflate the polymer into a thin tube that is many times its original, extruded diameter. It is this step of the process that can be adjusted to achieve the desired film thickness and width.

The hot tube film is then cooled, typically with high speed air, and pulled upward by equipment called nip rollers. On most medium to large size film lines, this vertical tube may extend several stories into the air. As the film cools it crystallizes at what is called the frost line. As the tube reaches the nip rollers, at the top of the line, the film is now cool enough to flatten and is then referred to as lay-flat or collapsed tubing. The film is then transported downstream by rollers for further processing (e.g. slit, printed, vented, converted into bags) and is eventually wound into rolls.

There are several advantages of manufacturing film using the blown film extrusion process including the ability to manipulate the mechanical properties of the final plastic based on the process conditions and base polymer(s) used. For example, blown film extrusion inflates the polymer radially while at the same time drawing the polymer upward with rollers. These forces stretch the polymer in both the transverse and draw directions, providing strength in the film. The extent of inflating and drawing can be adjusted to achieve the desired strength in the transverse and draw directions of the final product. Blown film extrusion is also versatile and able to manufacture a variety of single or multi-layer films with a range of film thickness and width.

Amcor’s Film Offerings

As a preferred supplier of plastic films and bags, Amcor has eliminated the distribution channel and sells direct to manufacturers. Lead times are typically 50% less than our competitors at around 2-3 weeks versus 4-6 weeks. With a wide range of capabilities and solutions, we are a vital partner in your company’s packaging success. Our film product offerings include:

  • Shrink, bags, tubing, sheeting
  • Widths up to 240”
  • Color and print
  • UVI, VCI, Antistat
  • Hand and Machine stretch Films
  • BOPP/Cast PP Films
  • Woven
  • Tape

In addition to plastic film and bags, we specialize in polyolefin compounds, additives, blends, and masterbatches. Amcor is also a full line distributor of various chemicals, resins, and gases for the plastic industry. With warehousing and distribution facilities across the United States, Mexico, Eastern Europe and China, we service companies of all sizes and locations across multiple industries. In addition to selling products, we also provide tech support, assistance with your equipment, and process recommendations.

We realize that on time delivery, a quality product, and personal service are what it is all about. Contact us today to learn how we can assist with your next project!


What is Specialty Compounding?

Within the plastics industry, compounding is the process of mixing and blending a base polymer with additives to manufacture a polymer blend that provides a specific set of properties. The compounding process is typically achieved via extrusion. The base polymer and the requisite additives are mixed and fed through an extruder. The screws of the extruder facilitate the melting and mixing of the polymer blend. The material, often now referred to as a compound or composite, exits the extruder via the die. The extrudate exits in long, individual strands that are often cooled using water baths or by spraying. After adequate cooling, these strands are cut into pellets and inspected as necessary for quality control. These pellets are then packaged and transported for further plastics processing such as injection molding.

Specialty compounding is a form of compounding that achieves a more customized and specific set of physical, thermal, electrical, and aesthetic characteristics in the final plastic product. While traditional compounding provides well-made products, manufacturers are turning to specialty compounding to ensure their products meet rigorous regulations and stand out from competitors. The possibilities are truly endless with specialty compounding!

It should be noted that specialty compounding is not a simple task and requires expertise as it demands precision as well as creativity. Amcor is a leader in specialty compounding solutions. Because we recognize that this process can be confusing, Amcor guides customers through each step of the specialty compounding process from product development through production including selection of the base resin, additives, fillers, and colorants to ensure the final product meets the customer’s unique and specific criteria. 

Properties Enhanced by Specialty Compounding

The first step when creating a specialty compounded solution is identifying the best base resin for a given application. There are many base polymers to choose from and each provides its own set of pros and cons. At Amcor, there are a variety of base resins to select from including polypropylene, polyethylene, and polystyrene.

The next step is to determine which additives should be added to provide the requisite properties in the final plastic product. There are numerous properties that can be enhanced by specialty compounding and some of the most common are below.

  • Color: does the final product need a specific or unique color in order to stand out? Colorants can be added to modify the color – and there are numerous colors to choose from to achieve the specific look you desire!
  • Anti-static and conductivity: does the final product need to have anti-static properties? These additives are used to minimize the potential for static electricity build up on the surface of the plastic, and in some cases even prevent it entirely.
  • Flame retardance: does the product need to prevent, delay, or slow down combustion? These additives are common in electrical products to avoid the ignition and burning of plastics.
  • Anti-aging: nearly every plastic is prone to degradation when exposed to UV light, such as from sunlight, and oxygen including ozone. This degradation causes brittleness, discoloration, and loss of some physical properties. Additives, referred to as anti-oxidants, stabilizers, or anti-ozonants, are added to combat the deterioration of the plastic and to significantly extend the life span of the final product.
  • Sterilization and anti-microbial: will the final product be used in the medical field, such as an implantable medical device? If so, there is a good chance it will require an additive to protect against deterioration of the plastic and reduce the potential for a microbiological attack.
  • Odor: additive technologies have advanced significantly in recent years and manufacturers now have the option to alter the smell of the final plastic product! These additives modify the odor of the plastic to produce a more pleasing aroma.
  • Other physical properties: there are literally hundreds of additives and each one modifies a specific property of the final polymer. Some physical properties that are often enhanced are impact resistance, stiffness, wear resistance, as well as resistance to heat, water, and chemicals.

Amcor: Your Specialty Compounding Partner

Our state-of-the-art compounding and blending processes ensure consistent master-batches and blended products each and every time. Our technical team takes a “hands-on” approach and is knowledgeable with resins, additives, manufacturing processes, and equipment. Whether you are foaming, molding, manufacturing film, extruding, or thermoforming, Amcor can be a valuable resource by your side.

Amcor is a manufacturer of polyethylene film and bags, as well as polyolefin compounds, additives, blends, and masterbatches.  Amcor has grown from a single product line to hundreds of products and five product divisions. In addition to selling products, we also provide tech support, assistance with your equipment, and process recommendations. Amcor is also a full line distributor of various chemicals, resins, and gases for the plastic industry. With warehousing and distribution facilities across the United States, Mexico, Eastern Europe and China, we service companies of all sizes and locations across multiple industries.

Amcor realizes that quick turnaround, on time delivery, a quality product, and personal service are what it is all about. Contact us today to learn how we can assist with your next project!


Benefits of Polymer Processing Aids Amcor

Polymer Processing Aids (PPAs) are additives combined with the base polymer to improve the processability and processing characteristics of the material as well as improve the quality of the final product. More specifically, PPAs improve the melt processability and handling of the polymers and improve the appearance of the final product by removing flow marks and die lines.

Internal and external PPAs are very common additives and are often lubricants. Their primary objective is to reduce the friction between the melting, or molten, polymer and the metal production equipment –providing a smooth flow of material by improving flow characteristics such as viscosity. Internal processing aids improve the polymer flow properties by reducing friction within the polymer blend itself. External processing aids migrate to the surface of the polymer to reduce the friction between the plastic and the metal manufacturing equipment, allowing the melt to slip through the die or mold more easily without sticking. Internal and external PPAs can be utilized together to achieve the desired processing characteristics.

Polymer processing aids are used in many applications including blown and cast film processes, pipe and sheet extrusion, blow molding and compounding. Processing aids are very effective for use in the production of high viscosity, high molecular weight polymers such as LDPE, LLDPE, LDPE, HDPE, PP, PS, and others – and are found in a variety of products ranging from plastic bottles to construction pipe to films. PPAs offer significant benefits even at very low addition rates in the Parts Per Million (ppm) range. Additionally, processing aids are typically very stable and able to be used for high temperature operations.

Benefits of Polymer Processing Aids

As the name implies, polymer processing aids provide benefits during the processing of the polymer but they also provide benefits to the final product. In particular, PPAs improve the polymer flow characteristics to reduce the potential for processing issues such as melt fracture, die build up, or gel formation. Melt fracture is a common polymer flow issue caused by the high stress experienced at the die exit; melt fracture causes a roughening of the polymer surface, often referred to as “shark skin” and can also lead to distortion of the final product. Die build-up is the deposition of material when exiting the die, which requires more frequent production stoppages to clean the die and also lowers product quality. Die buildup gets worse with time and can require cleaning in a matter of hours in some cases instead of days or weeks! Gel formation is the result of undesirable linking of the polymer molecules; PPAs improve the polymer flow, reducing the residence time during production and, therefore, reducing the potential for gel formation.

Below is a summary of the benefits of polymer processing aids.

  • Reduced melt fracture often referred to as “sharkskin”
  • Reduced die lines and die build-up
  • Reduced gel formation within the polymer
  • Improved product appearance such as surface finish, transparency, gloss, and smoothness
  • Higher productivity and lower operating costs due to lower cycle times and longer continuous production runs in between cleaning and maintenance.
  • Energy savings due to lower friction between the equipment and the polymer that allows for lower operating pressure and motor torque within the extruder.

Selecting the right polymer processing aid for your application is crucial –especially since a small change in dosage on a ppm level can have a huge impact on your operations! It is not always easy to determine which processing aid is best since there are many options to choose from. This is why it is important to choose a partner like, Amcor, that will guide you through the selection process. Additionally, Amcor provides tech support, assistance with customer’s equipment, and process recommendations to ensure you are set up for success!

About Amcor

Amcor is a manufacturer of polyethylene film and bags, as well as polyolefin compounds, additives, blends, and masterbatches. Amcor has grown from a single product line to hundreds of products and five product divisions. In addition to selling products, we also provide tech support, assistance with your equipment, and process recommendations. Below are some highlights of Amcor’s polymer processing aids (The “Ampro” Product Line):

· Flow Enhancers ·  Surface Enhancers (warpage/roughness) ·  Mold Release Agents
· Cooling/Cycle Time Reducers ·  Purge – “Ampure” ·  Web Break Reducer

Amcor is also a full line distributor of various chemicals, resins, and gases for the plastic industry. With warehousing and distribution facilities across the United States, Mexico, Eastern Europe and China, we service companies of all sizes and locations across multiple industries.

Amcor realizes that quick turnaround, on time delivery, a quality product, and personal service are what it is all about. Contact us today to learn how we can assist with your next project!


Guide of Commodity vs Engineered Resins

There are two broad types of plastic resins: commodity and engineered. It is important that manufacturers understand the key differences in these two resin categories so the right resin can be selected for a given application. Below is a guide of commodity versus engineered resins as well as some of the most common products for each resin type.

Commodity Resins

Commodity resins are primarily known for being inexpensive, easy to process, and readily available. These characteristics allow commodity resins to be produced in high volumes. Nearly all industries utilize this type of resin and commodity resins are used to produce a wide variety of industrial and consumer products such as food packaging, plastic utensils, and children’s toys.

Commodity resins are a good option for applications where the product does not require significant durability and will not be exposed to extreme conditions. This type of resin is often used for everyday products that in many cases have a short life-cycle and will ultimately be thrown-away such as plastic cups. Below are some of the most common commodity resins.

  • Polypropylene (PP): many industries utilized this resin due to its chemical resistance and low density that allows for light weight parts. Similar to other commodity resins, PP is relatively budget-friendly and can be mass produced. PP is versatile and is utilized by many sectors including automotive and consumer goods. PP is also safe for use in the food and beverage industry so manufacturers use PP for packaging and containers.
  • Polyethylene (PE): one of the big advantages of PE is that it can be produced in a range of densities with the two most common being Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) and High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). PE is also known for its shrink resistance and impact resistance. Similar to PP, PE can also be used for products within the food and beverage industry. PE has many uses such as toys, medical products, and food containers.
  • Polystyrene (PS): this commodity resin has several characteristics that are similar to PP and PE, but the ones that set it apart are its ability to produce transparent products, such as food packaging, and its ability to be molded into a variety of shapes. PS is also flame retardant. Products made of PS include clear food packaging and plastic cups (i.e. Styrofoam).

Engineered Resins

Engineered resins have superior properties when compared to commodity resins. These plastics are often designed with a specific set of properties and end-use in mind. Engineered resins are known for their strength, resistance to chemicals and corrosion, and ability to withstand extreme temperatures and conditions.

In return for their higher-performance, engineered resins are more expensive than commodity resins. In some cases, manufacturers use fillers to minimize raw material costs while achieving the desired plastic properties in the final product.

These resins are often used in more critical applications such as military, medical, and pharmaceutical, and automotive. There are many different engineered resins available to manufacturers and the right resin choice is very dependent on the specific application. Below are two of Amcor’s newest engineered resins: Resam-PPS and Resam-HF.

  • Resam-PPS is a complete raw material system from Amcor that produces light weight, rigid plastic foam to replace wood and other heavy structural products. Applications include construction, packaging pallets and runners, laminated cores, composite panels, and transportation (floors, walls and ceilings in commercial/recreational vehicles, trailers, automotive, marine). Below is more about Resam-PPS:
  • A proprietary high melt strength polypropylene system designed by Amcor
  • Produces structural foam sheet, plank, and profiles
  • Extremely strong, light weight, and cost-effective
  • Stiff with high compression strength (only 1% compression at 350psi)
  • Closed cell foam with fine cell structure and smooth surface
  • Excellent for heat welding or laminating
  • R-value (thermal resistance) of 4.4 at 6 lb/ft3 density
  • Recyclable, Sanitary, Fire and Weather Resistant
  • Resam-HF is a proprietary ethylene-styrene based compound designed to replace PS foam. This engineered resin can also be used as an additive (compatibilizer) in PS foam. Applications include packaging, insulation board, and floor underlayment. Resam-HF has several key benefits over PS such as:
  • Good impact strength (e.g. it is not brittle like polystyrene)
  • Solvent and moisture resistant
  • Produces foam that is half the density of PS with excellent thermal and sound insulation properties
  • Dimensionally stable and is foamable on conventional PE or PS extruders

Amcor’s Commodity and Engineered Resins

Amcor’s technical team facilitates the selection of resin to best fit the customer’s unique issues by applying its knowledge of plastic materials and manufacturing processes. Our private label CORLENE products are prime resins, while our AMBLEND products are industry-proven custom blends designed to meet the specific needs of molders, foamers, extruders, and film manufacturers. We offer a wide variety of engineered resins including Resam-HR and Resam-PPS that were highlighted above. Our commodity resins include:

  • Polyethylene – LLDPE, LDPE, MDPE, HDPE, EVA, EMA and Metallocene
  • Polypropylene – homopolymer, copolymer, and HMS (high melt strength)
  • Polystyrene – GPPS, HIPS

Amcor realizes that quick turnaround, on time delivery, a quality product, and personal service are what it is all about. Contact us today to learn how we can assist with your next project!


Choosing the Right Resin Supplier

Plastics are everywhere so it is not surprising that the demand for raw plastic resins continues to grow. There are hundreds of suppliers in the United States alone so it is understandable that choosing the right resin supplier may seem like a daunting task! There are many factors to consider when selecting a partner and it is imperative that companies do their research to identify the right one! Price is, of course, a huge consideration, but there are many additional factors that must be considered when selecting a supplier. Below are several tips to guide you through the selection process.

  • Proven experience: manufacturers should do their homework to better understand the background of each partner they are evaluating. For example, how long have they been in business, who were their previous clients, and have they won any awards or been recognized within the industry? You want an established partner with a proven history and repeat customers. Additionally, ensure the supplier has ample experience working with a company your size.
  • Offers What You Need: this is a basic consideration but not all suppliers produce the same resins! You need to be clear on which specific plastic resin is required for your application and if a potential partner offers that material. In addition to the material, you must also determine if the supplier is capable of providing the resin in the desired shape and tolerance as well as address any special considerations such UV light or moisture exposure. For manufacturers that are unclear on their specific resin requirements, it is even more important to select a supplier, like Amcor, that has the expertise and knowledge to guide clients through the process of identifying the right resin for their specific application.
  • Superb Quality: this factor cannot be understated - purchasing quality resins is important! You must select a supplier that produces high-quality resins in order for you to manufacture high-quality plastics! When considering suppliers, it is crucial to clearly understand which quality metrics and standards are being utilized – and you can be certain that not all resin suppliers use the same standards! Also, you need to ensure the supplier uses current manufacturing technologies and is committed to maintaining the latest production equipment.
  • Logistics Options: during your assessment of a potential partner, you must determine if the supplier can provide the necessary volume of resin you need in the timeframe required. Additionally, you need to clearly understand the packaging and transport options. For example, depending on the volume required, the packaging and transport could entail railcars filled with resin or large sacks transported on tractor trailers. You want to avoid a situation where you are short on resin so you should spend time thoroughly discussing the logistics including the safety protocols during transport and the contingency plans in place to deal with manufacturing or logistics disruptions. The location of the resin supplier is also a factor to be considered since transport costs increase as the distance between you and the supplier increases.  
  • Solid Partnership: in the end, you are not simply looking for a supplier, you are looking for a trusted partner that can help your business grow! Be on the lookout for the extra services and customer support that a resin supplier provides. For example, Amcor provides tech support, assistance with customer’s equipment, and process recommendations.

Amcor Resin Solutions

Amcor offers many solutions to your resin needs. Our private label CORLENE™ products are prime resins, while our AMBLEND™ products are industry-proven custom blends designed to meet the specific needs of molders, foamers, extruders, and film manufacturers. Our technical team facilitates the selection of resin to best fit the customer’s unique issues by applying its knowledge of plastic materials and manufacturing processes. Our product lines include the following prime, wide spec, and engineered blends:

  • Polyethylene – LLDPE, LDPE, MDPE, HDPE, EVA, EMA and Metallocene
  • Polypropylene – homopolymer, copolymer, and HMS (high melt strength)
  • Polystyrene – GPPS, HIPS
  • Nylon
  • Thermoplastic Elastomers
  • Others provided upon request

Amcor is a full line distributor of various chemicals, resins, and gases for the plastic industry. With warehousing and distribution facilities across the United States, Mexico, Eastern Europe and China, we service companies of all sizes and locations across multiple industries. Our packing options include railcar, bulk truck, Gaylord boxes, supersacks, and 25 kg bags.

Amcor strives to exceed expectations through outstanding customer service, quality products and an efficient logistics team. We realize that quick turnaround, on time delivery, a quality product, and personal service are what it is all about. Contact us today to learn how we can assist with your next project!