“With our extensive range of polyethylenes and polypropylenes, SABIC has already built a strong position in caps and closures,” says Hans Pierik, SABIC’s global Caps and Closures segment leader. “But the Caps & Closure market is growing and changing all the time, and we are moving quickly to respond to current and future developments.” SABIC will present on the final day of the conference, which is organized by UK-based consultant AMI.
SABIC’s goal is to extend its application coverage across food and beverage and non-food areas alike, especially detergents, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. “SABIC’s Caps & Closure portfolio spans all types of polyethylenes and polypropylene (PE, PP), through to engineering plastics like polycarbonate,” Pierik says. “Many of these have a long track record, but the important thing is to never stand still. This year we will be adding more innovative materials, including a new HDPE that makes it possible to cut weight in caps for carbonated soft drinks (CSDs).”
SABIC has developed a new multi-modal grade of HDPE with excellent organoleptics for this major application. It combines an excellent environmental stress cracking resistance (ESCR) with good flow, allowing cap manufacturers to design very lightweight closures. SABIC® HDPE CCX027C polymer exhibits strong shear thinning, which means that even though it has a relatively low MFI (0.8 g/10 min, 2.16 kg), its flow characteristics during injection molding are similar to those of a unimodal HDPE with an MFI more than three times higher.
“Having a new global segment organization for Caps & Closure shows our commitment to a customer-driven strategy and industry focus,” says Ahmed Al-Musfer, Director of Global Marketing & Industry Solutions at SABIC.
“On the development side, it will help us bring innovations to market more quickly, while our improved and dedicated sales and technical support people will be able to respond more effectively to service needs of customers and OEMs.”
SABIC is now addressing several trends in the market related to sustainability issues. Improvements to ESCR and physical properties like stiffness and impact strength will enable extra lightweighting; reductions in required processing temperatures will help processors save energy and cut cycle times; and even better organoleptics will meet needs for caps that have no effect on the taste of packaging contents (especially important for bottled water).
The company is also contributing to a more sustainable packaging industry by partially replacing crude oil with renewable feedstocks in its production of polyethylenes and polypropylenes. Properties of the partly bio-based plastics are identical to those made from non-renewables alone.