The highly elastic styrene-butadiene copolymer (SBC) Styroflex® 2G66 made by BASF, is now going into the serial production of films for stretch hoods by several industrial users. BISCHOF + KLEIN, a manufacturer of packaging material with worldwide operations, is now using Styroflex to produce the stretch hood films of its SmartFlex® SE series, and at almost the same time, two of its major international customers as well as the German company PCI Augsburg have switched over to this film for packaging their cargo. Owing to its high stretchability and recovery capacity, this Styroflex film lends itself very well for securing a wide array of palletized loads.
The new stretch hood films consist of several layers, the core layer being made of Styroflex 2G66. “We chose Styroflex for our films because, in addition to being very easy to process, it also displays good recovery properties. Tests have shown that the film containing Styroflex wraps tightly around the load, holding it securely on the pallet, even after being stretched by as much as 220 percent. Films made of pure polyethylene, in contrast, can only be stretched between 20 and 50 percent in industrial use since otherwise they do not recover sufficiently”, explains Ulrich Drögsler, head of sales for industrial packaging at BISCHOF + KLEIN.
The hood film made of Styroflex protects the cargo – be it kitchen cabinets or chemical containers – against slipping since, together with the pallet, the load forms a unit. Thanks to its high puncture resistance, the Styroflex film can be even thinner than pure PE films, which are usually from 80 µm to 120 µm thick. This entails a two-fold benefit for customers since greater stretchability and less thickness reduce the film weight per pallet while the improved pallet stability lowers insurance and logistics costs. The PCI Augsburg company – a manufacturer of building chemicals located in Augsburg, Germany and a BASF subsidiary – is utilizing the advantages of this film especially in order to package items with sharp edges which are otherwise difficult to wrap with film; these products include tile adhesives in buckets and footfall-insulation panels. Tear resistance and recovery capacity ensure that the film continues to stabilize the packaged goods even if the pallet is tilted by up to 35 percent, thus greatly enhancing the stability of the load. Besides, a single film tube size can accommodate different packaging tasks and pallet sizes. This saves not only storage costs but also cuts the time needed for retooling.
The BISCHOF + KLEIN company is currently developing a UV-resistant SmartFlex® SE film on the basis of Styroflex; this film will be suitable for outdoor applications such as wrapping roof tiles, garden furniture and chemical products. The film is already undergoing testing and is expected to be commercially available in mid 2009.