Creping plastic films is finding commercial use: Spunbond (polyethylene) has recently been contract creped for construction applications, and the techniques to process 100% Polypropylene nonwovens have also become commercial.
Micrex is collaborating with a specialty film extruder to produce a creped polyethylene film product. It is now possible to process a variety of thermoplastic films, imparting functional advantages and a visually distinctive appearance. We believe that there are opportunities to develop intellectual property in this new area of plastic film technology.
Properties that can be added to films:
- Increase in thickness of up to 20 times the original film thickness (10 X is typical)
- Machine direction stretch of up to 300% ( 25% is typical)
- Machine direction compressibility resulting from the crepe pattern
- Z direction cushioning resulting from the energy absorption characteristics of the creped, stretchy film (partly depends on base film stiffness)
- Greater flexibility in the MD and greater stiffness in the CD
- Crepe can be heat set for permanence or not heat set, thus partially reversible.
- These and other modifications may lead to new products in a variety of fields ranging from packaging to cushioned flooring underlayment to many others.
A few conceptual examples are:
- Bags for commodity packaging that expand (stretch) while being filled and then contract to conform to the volume of material filled.
- Food packages that automatically conform to the volume of their contents.
- Creped slip-sheets that automatically expand when the load is removed.
- Slip-sheets that are both waterproof and provide cushioning similar to corrugated boards.
- Rolls of Microcreped film have very high resistance to compression in the X direction and are waterproof.
- Metalized susceptor film that reflects radiant energy at angles dictated by the crepe pattern. The void space provided by the crepe also allows for drainage of food juices, keeping the meal from becoming soggy during cooking.
If you are interested in exploring how the Micrex technology can enhance your plastic film product, we want to hear from you.