• Print Innovation Asia

New patented metallic polyester film can replace aluminium foil

Flex Films, UFlex’s global film manufacturing arm has launched its new patented BOPET high barrier film F-UHB-M, designed to replace aluminium foil in flexible packaging applications.

F-UHB-M addresses the limitations of aluminium foil for packaging, such as material availability, high material cost, weak integrity, propensity for in-use pinhole formation and difficulty in recycling.

The new films will be manufactured in Flex Films’ plant in Kentucky, US and supplied across the world.

Film Specifications

F-UHB-M has a new specially formulated bi-axially oriented, polyester (BOPET) structure. According to UFlex, it comes with superior gas and water barrier while achieving one of the lowest oxygen and moisture barrier values (0.1 cc/ m2-day & 0.1 gm/m2-day respectively). A metal adhesion of 1200 gm/25mm improves and extends the product shelf-life.

Barrier performance is retained after incorporation of F-UHB-M into a multi-layer laminate structure demonstrating excellent handling, machinability and resistance to pin-hole formation. It offers a thickness of 12 microns and is compatible with a wide range of inks and adhesives.

It has better machinability and handling during processing, generates lesser scrap during production, comes with good flex crack resistance, has 20% increased puncture resistance vs BOPET grades, an advanced in-line inspection mechanism in place to ensure consistency in barrier properties; and less pinhole density than aluminium foils making it less susceptible to gases and water vapour leakages.

All of these lend the new BOPET film a strong competitive edge and makes it suitable for a whole host of flexible packaging applications, particularly the ones dominated by laminate comprising of aluminium foil, placing it among the best in packaging film industry.

Efficient Use for Logistics and E-Commerce

One of the biggest challenges that the packaging film industry face today is reducing food wastage through enhanced shelf-life of food products yet reducing packaging material consumption through laminate rationalisation.

F-UHB-M has a simpler, easily recyclable 3-ply laminate structure without compromising on barrier performance, so users can reduce laminate weight and lessen cost with minimised carbon footprint.

The new high barrier film’s protective oxygen and moisture barrier system helps lock in flavours and aroma of food products for longer than aluminium foil. This comes in handy for e-commerce in which transporting products long distances in a safe and efficient way, without any damages, to their consumers is important.

Compared to aluminium foils, the materials cost of F-UHB-M is less impacted by price fluctuations. With a better yield per unit area, F-UHB-M will prove to be a highly cost-effective film.

The film which is FDA compliant and can be used for applications such as medical packaging; packaging for dried and powdered items like dried meats, coffee, yeast, snacks and nuts; energy drinks packaging; vacuum insulated panels; bag-in-box and many more.

“Gathering market intelligence, the need to find a better replacement for conventional aluminium foil was established which otherwise comes with quite a few limitations besides being highly sensitive to damages often compromising the barrier performance of packaging," said Vijay Yadav, Business Head, FLEXFILMS (USA) Inc.

"While developing high barrier F-UHB-M, priority was given to upscale the barrier properties matching that of an aluminium foil to deliver the best packaging experience to our customers. Our teams have worked extensively on creating a real high value-added film with numerous benefits so that our converting partners gain from reduced manufacturing cost, much better performance and achieve economies of scale while going sustainable with their packaging, at the same time. This film will act as a game-changer in the packaging industry, giving the industry a product like never before."

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