Honeywell Offers High-Barrier Aclon PCTFE Resin
Healthcare product companies have a new choice in clear thermoplastic materials for packaging their products. Honeywell Specialty Films (Morristown, NJ) has announced the commercialization of Aclon, a polychlorotrifluoroethylene (PCTFE) resin for use in multilayer containers.
Aclon provides the moisture barrier and chemical resistance properties of PCTFE in resin form for the blow molding of flexible and rigid plastic packaging.
“Aclon is essentially the same polychlorotrifluoroethylene resin as used in making Aclar (PCTFE) film,” says Jay Shah, market segments leader, Honeywell Specialty Films. “We adjusted the properties to make it easier to process as a resin. With Aclon, we are for the first time offering a resin for multilayer container applications.”
Incorporated as a sandwich or as a contact layer in multilayer extrusions, Aclon would provide at least ten times the moisture barrier on a per-mil-thickness basis of such clear thermoplastic resins as PET and PETG, says Shah.
It is also biochemically inert and plasticizer- and stabilizer-free, offering extremely low extractables and leachables. The clear, lightweight resin will enable customers to incorporate the same barrier properties of standard containers into smaller sample-sized packages, he adds.
“Efficacy is increasingly a priority for the entire packaging industry. This new technology has successfully demonstrated the barrier properties needed to help improve shelf life and flavor scalping of liquids. For packaging sensitive drugs and medications, it also offers an alternative to glass, which can shatter and present safety concerns,” Shah says.
Monolayer and multilayer containers using Aclon would be suitable for packaging products such as liquids and powders, cough medicines, specialty oils, high-purity chemicals, and oral hygiene and eye care products.
“Aclon is a valued-added product that will be adopted by customers that require high moisture, chemical, and flavor barriers; increased shelf life; and a high-performance solution for smaller packages,” Shah says.
Honeywell worked with Wilmington Machinery (Wilmington, NC) in all phases of Aclon’s commercialization. Wilmington tested Aclon’s performance in a multilayer extrusion blow-molding process in which the resin was employed as a contact layer and as a sandwich layer in bottles with high-density polyethylene and polypropylene, says Jeff Newman, vice president, sales and marketing, Wilmington Machinery.
Aclon presented three processing challenges. When extruded as the contact layer, its higher melt point affected the consistency of the combined materials or the parison. This prevented the parison from being formed correctly for blow molding. “We came up with a different way of laying the layers together, so we were able to bring all the materials together at the proper extrusion temperature.”
Also, “Aclon did not want to slide over the surface of the die pin,” says Newman. The uneven sliding affected the resin’s clarity. Wilmington redesigned the die head and applied a coating to the die-head pin to solve the problem.
In addition, Wilmington worked with Honeywell in testing adhesives to improve the adhesion of Aclon to poly materials.
“Aclon had been used successfully for many years in the film industry, but they had never developed material for blow-molding bottles. This presented some unique challenges. We had to understand the processing variables, and the range of those variables. In commercializing the blow-molding process, we produced a functional container that has good adhesive properties and that maintains Aclon’s clarity,” Newman says.