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SURLYN™ For Packaging Downgauging

Doing more with less material

Consumers want packaging that uses less while doing more. And along with less waste, maintained or improved freshness, taste, clarity, convenience and safety. That’s where SURLYN™ Ionomer Resins come in – a super-strong ionomer resin coming in a range of grades providing a combination of attributes, including:

  • Stiffness
  • Formability
  • Puncture and abrasion resistance
  • Excellent sealing
  • High clarity

Delivering results: processed meat packaging

In one example, for packaging designed to display and maintain freshness for bacon and other processed meats, SURLYN™ ionomer helped reduce costs while providing added value. Top and bottom web film thickness was significantly reduced by more than 30 percent, yet stiffness was retained. Direct raw material savings amounted to 4 percent.

An additional savings of 4 percent environmental tax fee (DSD) was also achieved for this specific film converter in its market. All while achieving overall enhanced package quality, including improved gloss and transparency, perforation resistance, faster line speed and reduced purge, thanks to strong secondary sealing.

Delivering results: Dry Food Packaging

In another example, a paper-based soup sachet was redesigned to incorporate SURLYN™ which allowed packaging downgauging from 120 μm to 92 μm while maintaining stiffness and improving sealing.

Material cost for making the packet can be reduced by up to 13 percent depending on the grade of SURLYN™ ionomer used. Recycling fees (in this case, the German DSD fee) can decrease by up to 5 percent. And despite downgauging the structure by 23 percent, the bending stiffness of the entire structure remains unchanged.

Downgauging and Bending Stiffness Model

To ensure downgauging does not compromise quality, we developed special software to model the stiffness of packaging structures containing up to nine layers. “Bending Stiffness Model” software has shown that films based on SURLYN™ can be competitive with conventional films in terms of raw material cost, while maintaining overall stiffness despite considerable downgauging.

The Chemistry of SURLYN™

SURLYN™ ionomers are ethylene acid copolymers that have been partially neutralized with sodium or zinc salts. Most of the mechanical properties of SURLYN™ are directly related to its acid content and level of neutralization. The higher these two parameters, the stronger SURLYN™ ionomers are, and the greater the potential for thickness reduction.

However a high level of neutralization can lead to products whose viscosity is not always well-suited to every extrusion process. The family of SURLYN™ grades listed below covers a relatively large viscosity domain to fit most processing requirements:

  • SURLYN™ 1706 (Zn ionomer, blown film application)
  • SURLYN™ 1707 (Na ionomer, blown film application)
  • SURLYN™ 1605 (Na ionomer, blown film, cast film, and extrusion coating applications)

These grades are approximately twice as stiff as conventional SURLYN™ grades while maintaining the same extrudability and processability. Results can include:

  • Enhanced packaging solutions
  • Reduced environmental footprint
  • Differentiation in an ever-more standardized industry

We collaborate with film converters worldwide to make super-strong SURLYN™ an efficient choice for application-specific performance improvement while downgauging packaging and reducing costs.

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