Orlando, Fla. – Milacron, a leading global supplier of plastics processing technologies, is showcasing here at NPE 2015 in booth #W2703 its new Klear Can, a superior alternative to traditional metal food cans that features two layers of Ultra Clear polypropylene (PP) resin clarified with advanced Millad® NX™ 8000 additives from Milliken & Company (booth #S12001). This new breakthrough packaging solution offers significant advantages across the entire packaging value chain beginning with canners who are able to utilize existing downstream infrastructure, as well as the same easy-open and traditional lids used with metal cans. Brand owners benefit by being able to differentiate their products at the point of purchase and consumers can easily view the quality and freshness of fruit, vegetables and other foods through the clear container. The new Klear Can co-injection technology is running here on a Ferromatik Milacron injection molding machine in Milacron’s booth.
“Our new Klear Can is not only a revolutionary milestone in food canning technology, it also far surpasses previous types of see-through cans,” said Russell Bennett, vice president of sales and marketing for Milacron, Co-Injection Technology. “By partnering with Milliken, we developed a unique solution with the highest clarity and best-in-class aesthetics. Combined with its exceptional light weight and improved durability and recyclability, the Klear Can promises to change the way shelf-stable foods are marketed.”
“Millad NX 8000 additive has already made a major impact on the advancement of injection-molded food storage containers and, with the debut of Milacron’s Klear Can, is once again providing an important differentiator to another valued customer,” said Cristina Acevedo, global product line manager, Plastics Additives, Milliken & Company. “Thanks to Milacron’s co-injection technology and Milliken’s Millad NX 8000 additive, the new cans represent a true breakthrough for consumers, food companies and processors alike.”
In addition to market-leading clarity provided by higher loadings of Milliken’s Millad NX 8000 clarifier technology, the Klear Can offers important differentiators including a proprietary false foot design that prevents can deformation during retort. A panel inside the false foot flexes to accommodate stress on the can body and maintain its round shape. During subsequent shipment, warehousing and retailing, the Klear Can resists dents and other handling damage common with metal cans, thanks to the flexibility of PP.
The stackable cans are 40 to 50 percent lighter than metal cans of equivalent size, helping to reduce transportation costs, fuel usage and carbon emissions. They also support sustainability when recycled with already established systems. The multi-layer can wall and attached metal ring from the lid can be ground up together and separated using flotation.
Of special interest to consumers and brand owners, the ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH) barrier between the two layers of PP allow the Klear Can to meet industry expectations for a two year product shelf life and the materials used in the can contain no bisphenol-A (BPA) or bisphenol-S (BPS) plasticizers. For distinctive aesthetics, the Klear Can can also be tinted or enhanced with in-mold labeling.
Millad NX 8000 additives for PP produce optical clarity comparable to that of glass-like polymers such as polycarbonate, crystal polystyrene and acrylics. It also provides a fresher, cleaner and brighter look to PP-based applications, appealing to consumer preferences. Applications for PP clarified with Millad NX 8000 additives include sports drink bottles, thermoformed cups and clamshells, detergent bottles and closures, food packaging and storage containers.