Producing Packaging with the Power to Win

Almost every product you purchase is packaged in some way, shape, or form.  Grocery store meats are shrink-wrapped.  Food to go is presented in clamshell takeout containers.  Children’s toys are displayed in blister packaging.  Beverages are contained in bottles.  Candies are wrapped with attractive flexible packaging.  And, non-consumable products like DVDs are tucked safely away in sturdy cases.

Chemical derivatives play an essential role in the packaging industry - keeping the foods we eat contaminant free and protecting scores of products from wear and tear during distribution.  The result is a high level of consumer convenience and safety.

Chevron Phillips Chemical offers a broad portfolio of chemical derivatives that are found in thousands of packaging applications.  These chemicals can be grouped into three packaging categories - Rigid Packaging, Flexible Packaging, and Coatings.

Rigid Packaging – Food & Drink

According to the Industry of Packaging Professionals, nearly 60 percent of all packaging manufactured in the US is for food and beverage product protection and preservation.  Chevron Phillips Chemical’s rigid packaging products comply with the US Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulations for food contact.

Marlex® High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

HDPE is used for food and drink packaging due to its general stiffness and resistance to breakage and stress cracks.  HDPE allows the passage of oxygen, yet is moisture resistant.  It’s also highly resistant to chemicals, rendering it virtually unaffected by food products and household chemicals.  Additionally, HDPE maintains its properties well below freezing without becoming brittle.

HDPE food and drink packaging applications include:

  • Injection Molding – cups, mugs, bowls, pails and trays for produce
  • Blow Molding – bottles (milk, water, juice)
  • Sheet/Thermoforming – yogurt, margarine, and whipped topping tubs, baby wipe containers
Marlex® Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

LDPE is used primarily in the manufacture of film applications due to its heat sealability and flexibility.  However, LDPE is also used in the manufacture of blow molded squeezable bottles such as ketchup, honey, mustard, margarine, mayonnaise, etc., as well as some flexible lids.

Marlex® Polypropylene

Polypropylene is a versatile plastic that offers a very low density, superior see-through clarity, impact resistance, retortability, and a moisture vapor barrier.  Polypropylene is used for food and drink packaging due to the fact that it offers stiffness, yet is still flexible, and it resists heat, chemicals, grease, and oil.  Additionally, polypropylene has a very high melting point so food containers will not melt in the dishwasher or the microwave and do not melt during industrial hot filling processes.

Polypropylene food and drink packaging applications include:

  • Injection Molding – bottle caps, beverage crates (soda, milk, beer), living hinges on flip top bottles and lunchboxes/school boxes
  • Blow Molding – bottles (non-carbonated beverages, liquid food; especially in hot fill applications), spill resistant cups
  • Sheet/Thermoforming – single serve snacks (pudding, fruit, yogurt, applesauce), to go containers, cups, deli containers, disposable food containers such as ice cream, pickles, spreads, etc.
K-Resin® SBC

K-Resin® SBC is a, durable styrene-butadiene copolymer offering a balance of exceptional clarity, practical toughness, and competitive economics.  Its performance characteristics are competitive with clear polymers such as polycarbonate and styrene based acrylics (SMMA), but at a much lower finished part cost. K-Resin® SBC can also be blended with other polymers such as polystyrene for improved economics or polycarbonate, SMMA, or ABS for enhanced performance characteristics.

K-Resin® SBC processing options and applications include the following:

  • Injection Molding – media packaging
  • Injection Blow Molding – crystal clear bottles in which clarity is critical
  • Extrusion/Thermoforming – blended K-Resin® SBC and crystal polystyrene is used in clear drinking cups, cup lids, deli trays, clamshell takeout containers, salad bar containers

Chevron Phillips Chemical produces a broad line of both general purpose (crystal) and high-impact polystyrene. General-purpose polystyrene is characterized by its brilliant gloss, glass-like clarity, and high level of rigidity.  General-purpose polystyrene processing options and applications include:

  • Injection Molding – clear disposable food containers and CD cases
  • Direct Injection Foam – lightweight clamshell containers, plates, bowls, egg cartons
  • Bi-axial Orientation – Crystal clear, heat resistant disposable food packaging

High-impact polystyrene (HIPS) offers a combination of exceptional toughness balanced with high gloss and excellent rigidity compared to competitive commodity plastics.  Chevron Phillips Chemical offers an industry standard print grade for lithographic and silkscreen printing applications. Typical applications for HIPS include: disposable plates, cups, cutlery, and hot/cold drink cup lids.

Rigid Packaging – Consumer Products

Due to its chemical resistance, HDPE is often used in the production of blow molded shampoo, detergent, bleach, and other household cleaner bottles.  And, its proven performance in injection and blow molding applications, have made polypropylene a preferred choice for DVD cases and medicine bottles.  K-Resin® SBC is also used in clam shell and board back blister packaging as well as music and anti-theft CD and DVD cases due to its transparency and impact resistance.  Polystyrene is used, too, in tamper resistance closures, audiocassette casings, and media packaging due to its economics, stiffness, and versatility.

Rigid Packaging – Material Handling

HDPE and polypropylene are widely used in the production of pallets, dunnage trays, collapsible bins, crates, and totes because they are more durable, easier to clean, lighter, more impact resistant, less noisy, stronger, and more cost-effective than their traditional wood and metal counterparts.

Flexible Packaging - Films

Chevron Phillips Chemical’s blown and cast films offer a relatively low cost option for manufacturers looking for a heat-sealable, anti-leak, lightweight, moisture resistant solution to their flexible packaging needs.

Blown and Cast Marflex® LDPE, LLDPE & HDPE Film

LDPE film is easily heat sealable, inert, odor free, and shrinks when heated. It creates a strong moisture barrier, has good impact strength, and maintains its qualities at sub-zero temperatures.  Conversely, LDPE offers high gas permeability, sensitivity to oils and poor odor resistance. Due to its low cost, LDPE film is one of the most widely used packaging applications.

LLDPE films offer a higher tensile strength and a better heat seal strength than LDPE, but they also have a higher haze.  LLDPE films are non-shrinkable and offer excellent stress-crack resistance.

HDPE film offers a low permeability to gases and moisture, and is thicker and stronger than LDPE film.  HDPE film has higher softening temperature and can therefore be heat sterilized. HDPE films offer high tear strength, penetration resistance, and seal strength. They are also waterproof and chemically resistant.

Applications for blown and cast LDPE, LLDPE & HDPE film include:

  • Bags for laundry, grocery, retail, food packaging
  • Inside liner for packaged cereal products, cake mixes, crackers
  • Trash bags, etc.
Marlex® Polypropylene Films

Polypropylene is a clear, glossy film known for its puncture resistance and exceptional stretch properties.  Phillips Sumika offers homopolymer and copolymer polypropylene resins designed for specialty film applications in both cast and blown film, as well as high-speed films. Chevron Phillips Chemical’s unique technology enables the production of high performance film resins.

Applications of blown Marlex® Polypropylene film include:

  • Bags for fertilizers, chemicals
  • Films for wrapping bread, chips, vegetables
  • Snack food packaging
Blown and Cast K-Resin® SBC Film

K-Resin® SBC can be produced as a stiff, high gloss, clear film that offers more flexibility than traditional cellophane films. K-Resin® SBC film offers good oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapor permeability, puncture resistance, excellent crease retention characteristics, and it is readily heat sealed to a variety of sheeting materials. K-Resin film can be easily pigmented to make tinted, transparent or opaque film.  K-Resin® SBC is also suitable for coextrusion with a variety of other packaging materials, such as polystyrene, for added economics.

Applications for blown and cast K-Resin® SBC film include:

  • Tinted decorative film and gift wrap
  • Over wrap
  • Produce bags, etc.

Chevron Phillips Chemical ranks as the number one supplier to the North American industry based on volume.

In the extrusion coating process, molten HDPE and/or LDPE film is applied to other materials such as paper, cardboard, and plastic to create a multi-layered protective coating, a liquid-tight seal, and a barrier to moisture and humidity. This process is commonly used in the creation of:

  • Milk and juice cartons
  • Frozen food boxes
  • Paper drink cups, etc.

The general advantages of polypropylene are higher temperature resistance, barrier properties, grease resistance, and chemical resistance. Polypropylene is suitable for applications such as microwavable trays, release paper, and insulation backing.

Choosing the best materials for effective packaging is complex -- manufacturers must take into account performance, processability, price, marketability, consumer preferences, protection, distribution channels, shelf life – and more. This is just one of the many reasons Chevron Phillips Chemical offers a  wide variety of quality polymers and resins. It is all part of “Advancing Formulas for Life” and producing packaging with the power to win!