Uflex engineers thinnest PET ALOx speciality film

Noida-based Uflex Limited recently launched 9.5 micron speciality ALOx polyester film, FLEXALOXPROTECTTM F-PGX. Engineered by Uflex’s fully owned subsidiary, Flex Americas S.A. de C.V at Mexico, this is the thinnest PET ALOx film available globally. Despite being the leanest, the 9.5 micron ALOx polyester film exhibits excellent barrier for oxygen and water vapour as W.V.T.R (gm/m2/day) and O.T.R (cc/m2/day) are both less than 1.0.

17 Oct 2016 | By Rahul Kumar

There is a growing demand for transparent flexible packaging that allows retail customers to see-through and check the quality of the product packed inside to their satisfaction. Conventionally, metalised films have been used to impart enhanced barrier properties to laminates, but metallisation renders the film opaque. The PET ALOx film can offer yet better barrier properties while still being transparent.

Being a down-gauged film FLEXALOXPROTECTTM F-PGX is 24% lighter than its 12.5 micron variant and almost 60% lighter than the 23.5 micron variant. Furthermore, the price coordinates are better and so is the yield. While the 12.5 micron ALOx film has a yield of 57.14 m2/kg and the 23.5 micron film has a yield of 30.4 m2/kg, the 9.5 micron speciality ALOx film yields 75.18 m2 per kg. This brings major cost savings for the converters. The fact that the film is transparent and demonstrates excellent barrier properties, the need for a sandwich (barrier) layer, which is typically a metallised film is completely eliminated. The PET ALOx film can be reverse printed and then laminated with a sealing substrate. Depending upon the barrier properties required by the product to be packed, ALOx coated films can be used in two-ply structures right up-to multi-layered laminates.

FLEXALOXPROTECTTM F-PGXi.e. (PET ALOx) film complies with EC and FDA regulations for food contact and finds extensive use in manufacturing laminates used for packing dried meat, fresh food, snacks, confectionery, microwavable foods, retort convenience food, cheese, baked goods, drinks, pharmaceutical and medical products.

JK Sharma, AGM, technical service and new product development (films), who is credited with the development of ALOx film at Uflex, said, “One side of the polyester film is coated with aluminium oxide in a special metalliser where aluminium metal is thermally evaporated and reacted with oxygen under high vacuum conditions to achieve its oxide. The ALOx when deposited on clean film surface offers very high barrier against oxygen and water vapour transmission simultaneously giving excellent clarity and transparency to the film.”

Pramod Sirsamkar, president, technical and new product development (films), Uflex, said, “PET ALOx is a significantly down-gauged transparent barrier film which by itself is its biggest USP. Besides excellent barrier properties, the film exhibits superior ink anchorage, suitability for retort applications, imparts strength to the ensuing laminate and has optimum coefficient of friction thereby offering great machinability to convertors.”

Speaking about the development, Ashok Chaturvedi, chairman and managing director, Uflex, said, “We pay a lot of emphasis on sustainable innovation. Development of FLEXALOXPROTECTTM F-PGX is a classic example of the same. The film is down-gauged yet it offers superior barrier properties and machinability. Development of such efficient packaging films enhances the value proposition for converters, brands and the end consumers alike. It’s a win-win.”