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Gel specification for packaging films that process better, have improved optical, sealing & tear properties

ExxonMobil Chemical Co : 11 May, 2004  (New Product)
ExxonMobil Chemical has commercialized, two low-gel grades of Exceed
ExxonMobil Chemical has commercialized, two low-gel grades of Exceed™ LLDPE specifically designed for high quality lamination and coextrusion film applications.

The exceptionally low-gel levels of the new grades provide laminators/surface protection film makers with the opportunity to make a film that will process better, has improved optical properties, and offers improved sealing and tear-resistance.

The gel content is measured using a state-of-the-art optical gel detection device. The device, an optical camera system, consistently and reliably detects and classifies gels, and generates reliable gel data for resins intended for sensitive applications. The actual measured gel level of the new grades, Exceed 1018LC and Exceed 1018LE, will be shown on the Certificate of Analysis.

'Investment in this new equipment demonstrates our long-term commitment to overall superior product quality, in this case, minimizing gel levels and improving product consistency,' said Dirk Michiels, Global PE Products Technology Manager, ExxonMobil Chemical. 'The gel specifications have been established to satisfy the needs of sensitive markets such as film lamination.

Minimizing gel levels helps to limit a variety of processing and converting problems:
In lamination film, excessive gel content can cause optical imperfection, printing and sealing problems.

In surface protective film, gels are unsightly and can cause tearing during peeling, resulting in scratches appearing in the surface being protected.
In coextrusion, gels can cause film breaks, inhibiting down-gauging and causing weak spots that reduce mechanical strength and sealing performance.

Exceed 1018LC and 1018LE are new, special versions of the Exceed 1018CA and 1018EB grades. While providing a 'zero large gel' specification and a quantification of the low level of 'small gels,' these new special version grades have identical processing, film properties and food regulation compliance to the current commercial grades, thereby avoiding end-user re-qualification.

Producers of laminated films are increasingly moving away from mono-layer LDPE films in favor of better performing coextruded ones. Exceed 1018LC and Exceed 1018LE deliver premium quality lamination and coextrusion films resulting in:

Top quality printing and enhanced product image due to extremely low gel levels.
Flawless sealing operations and improved packaging integrity uninterrupted by gels.
Higher performance than other polymers including C8-LLDPE, resulting in: higher packaging speed due to improved hot tack.
Improved form/fill/seal operation due to a broader sealing window.
Improved transport on the laminator due to consistent co-efficient of friction and less blocking.
Lower film-manufacturing costs, since a more consistent, higher quality film resin results in fewer production upsets.
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