Product Watch: Flex Films - F-UHB-M BOPET Film

A filmic replacement for aluminium foil

11 Jan 2022 | By Aultrin Vijay

What does it do?
F-UHB-M is a patented bi-axially oriented polyester (BOPET) high barrier film that is designed to replace aluminium foil in flexible packaging applications. Besides barrier performance and bond strength, F-UHB-M offers multiple benefits for customers ranging from cost efficiency, higher sustainability quotient to efficient use in logistics and eCommerce. The film helps the converting industry move from a 4-ply laminate structure with aluminium foil to an easily recyclable 3-ply laminate structure with F-UHB-M film, without compromising on barrier performance.

What is unique about it?
F-UHB-M offers a thickness of 12 microns and coating technology together with a very high optical density. It is compatible with a wide range of inks and adhesives, has better machinability and handling during processing, generates lesser scrap during production, comes with good flex crack resistance, has 20% increased puncture resistance versus BOPET grades, an advanced in-line inspection mechanism in place to ensure consistency in barrier properties; and far less pinhole density than aluminium foils making it less susceptible to gases and water vapour leakages.

Where is it manufactured?
The film is manufactured in Flex Films’ Kentucky plant in the USA and will be supplied across the world.

Describe the technology (without disclosing the trade secrets).
With its new BOPET structure, F-UHB-M comes with gas and water barrier properties while achieving low oxygen and moisture barrier values (0.1 cc/ m2-day and 0.1 gm/m2-day respectively) and metal adhesion of 1,200 gm/25mm that aids improvement and extension of product shelf-life.

When was it launched?
F-UHB-M film was launched at the Pack Expo 2021 in Las Vegas held in September 2021.

What market is it aimed at?
The F-UHB-M film has been developed keeping in mind the enhanced safety parameters and lesser complexities that converters want and green packaging that consumers seek. The film, which is FDA compliant, has been made to suit customer needs for applications in 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.

What’s the compatibility of the film?
It is compatible with a wide range of inks and adhesives and has better machinability and handling during processing.

What’s the USP?
F-UHB-M was developed with high barrier properties matching that of an aluminium foil. As against traditional aluminium foils, F-UHB-M helps reduce laminate weight, lower cost, and minimise carbon footprint.

How do you rank it in terms of the ‘wow’ factor?
While the new film’s protective oxygen and moisture barrier system helps lock in flavours and aroma of food products matching those of products packaged in aluminium foils, the high metal bond strength ensures no delamination making the laminate much more secure and packed product safe. These advantages come in very handy for the eCommerce industry for which transporting products long distances in a safe and efficient way, without any damages, to their consumers is the name of the game.

How efficient is it in terms of costs?
The materials cost of F-UHB-M is less impacted by price fluctuations that allow the converters to make better cost forecasts. With a better yield per unit area, F-UHB-M is projected to be a highly cost-effective film for converters and brands.

Contact info
Vijay Yadav, business head – packaging films business, Flex Films USA

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