Borealis' new Borsoft PP grade selected by European plastic packaging solution provider Plasticum for squeezable tube for personal care market; Borealis says grade optimized for flowability, flexibility, contact transparency, stress crack resistance
November 7, 2011
– Borealis’ first polypropylene (PP) grade for squeezable cosmetics tubes, Borsoft™ SL600MO, is the material innovation behind an inspirational, sustainability-focused packaging solution for the cosmetics sector called CLUBE®.
Developed by Plasticum Group, a leading European manufacturer and designer of innovative plastic packaging solutions, CLUBE is a one piece squeezable tube with an integrated closure and in-mould label (IML) that cuts material usage by up to 40%. CLUBE is unique in enabling all three elements to be produced in one single bi-injection moulding production step, instead of the traditional three, for more efficient production and a series of knock-on productivity, design and environment-related benefits.
Borsoft SL600MO was created specifically by Borealis, a leading provider of chemical and innovative plastics solutions, for this project. Tailored to meet the needs of the production process and the tube, the grade was optimised for outstanding flowability, good flexibility, excellent contact transparency and outstanding environmental stress crack resistance (ESCR).
The material’s excellent flow and easy processing characteristics enable the formation of a soft tube body capable of supporting an integrated closure. From a sustainability perspective, potential elimination of the tube shoulder creates significant savings in material usage. Less waste and rejections occur, and the PP tube and cap material are fully recyclable.
As a result of the simplified production process, downstream equipment investments are significantly lower and, importantly, production cycle time and therefore energy usage can be substantially reduced. The flexible system and easy changeovers of colours and labels allow for short lead-times and economic production even with small-run customer projects.
The all-in-one closure and tube construction offers unlimited design differentiation possibilities to brand owners. Injection moulding allows more flexibility of tube shape, for example, two chamber, oval, square or triangle shape, combined with the high quality imaging of in-mould labelling. Silver contour and metallic surfaces as well as the use of bi-colour are among the creativity options available to designers.
Additional partners in the CLUBE development process were machinery and moulding specialists Engel, Otto Hofstetter AG and Beck Automation.
“We are always looking for new opportunities to push the boundaries of design and functionality in the packaging solutions we offer for the personal care market, preferably in combination with cost-effective intellectual manufacturing processes,” comments Rian Stegeman, Chief Technology Officer, Plasticum Group. “Our long and trusted relationship with Borealis enabled us to find the right material to achieve an effective tube and closure combination that follows a sustainable approach for ourselves and our customers, in opening up new dimensions in the world of cosmetics.”
Jean-Christophe Janssens, Borealis Key Sales Manager, adds, “Borsoft SL600MO takes Borealis into the new application area of squeezable PP cosmetics tubes with a step change offering in performance, short lead times, and sustainability. Such a development is fundamental to our commitment to add value across the packaging value chain and is only possible when close co-operation and knowledge-sharing takes place between all partners.
“With the cosmetics segment holding the largest market share within the continually growing European tube market, we look forward to supporting the packaging industry to further explore the potential of what can be achieved.”