In the shipping industry, plastic films are playing a bigger and bigger role to help meet the industry’s ever-changing needs. An added emphasis on safety has officials in both Europe and the United States more focused on load stability. Unstable loads put both people and products at risk, which is why Europe is creating new regulations to stabilize the shipping industry. Playing an important role of that is plastic film, which is being used to secure pallets within trucks. As these regulations advance, the need for stronger films increases, leading to more consistent films and better ways to measure them. This will continue to be the case, as North America follows Europe’s lead.
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A new ASTM standard may make plastic film measurement a more accurate task in the near future. ASTM standard D8136, developed by the organization’s committee on plastics, is said to handle measurements with increased accuracy while simultaneously being easier to use than existing methods of testing thickness. The organization believes that this new method can help in film commercial transactions, as its accuracy and ease of use will help put both the buyer and the seller on the same page.
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Researchers at the University of Michigan are testing out new forms of plastic film that handle heat significantly better than existing films. This new process substitutes water during the process, helping to solidify the material. After spin casting, the resulting film brings the molecules closer together, allowing it to better conduct heat. Film that can handle heat better has a lot of potential in many industries, though this development will still need some time before it’s ready for the market.
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Seal failures are a serious and common problem in flexible packaging. A common failure area is the perimeter adjacent to the seal. It is not unusual for this perimeter to be 10% to 50% thinner than the film's nominal gauge. When stressed under gauge film yields to failure. Polymer, process variables (temperature, pressure, and dwell), as well as the radius of the sealing head and thickness of the sealant layer contribute to reduce or increase the degree of squeeze out and thinning.
The purpose of this note is to illustrate how each of these factors contribute to preventing seal failure due to thinning related to sealant squeeze out.
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Dunmore Corporation market analyst Carl Fiddler takes us back in time to look at six different times that plastic film has been a “disruptive technology” and completely changed the existing market. From the era of listening to music on cassette tapes to the present-day growth in solar power, each of these advancements demonstrate the versatility and potential that exists in the plastic film industry. Check out the whole list at Dunmore’s blog.
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