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What's Comin' Out of The Lab: Dow Packaging And Specialty Plastics

Earlier this month at PACK Expo in Chicago, Dow Chemical not only hosted one of the most impressive company exhibit spaces at the massive event, it also unveiled some of its newest products in plastics technology.

Earlier this month at PACK Expo in Chicago, Dow Chemical not only hosted one of the most impressive company exhibit spaces at the massive event, it also unveiled some of its newest products in plastics technology.

According to Nathan Wiker, group marketing director for Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics, many of the products came out of Pack Studios, Dow’s collaborative space where companies come together to innovate packaging solutions. When Pack Studios was launched about two years ago, it started with one location in Freeport, Texas — now there are seven Pack Studios around the world.

The investment has paid off. Wiker says that about half of all collaborations at Pack Studios turn into a Dow product, and most of the company’s recent launches are the result of a Pack projects.

Here are some of the most recent plastics and packaging innovations Dow has released this year:

AGILITY LDPE Resins:
Wiker says that AGILITY resins created a lot of buzz for Dow at PACK Expo this year — the line of products has also made waves in the industry, winning an R&D 100 Award for being a “market disrupter.”

According to an announcement for the award:
These resins utilize Dow’s new proprietary advanced LDPE manufacturing technology, which tailors molecular design to deliver improved optics, bubble stability, and higher melt strength. These desirable properties enhance the performance and process efficiency of a range of applications including agricultural films, lamination films, shrink films (including collation shrink), stretch films, food packaging, food storage bags, foams for protective packaging, and extrusion coating.

Wiker says that before the AGILITY line came along, there hadn’t been any big changes in lamination technology in about 40 years.

INNATE Precision Packaging Resins:
For the first time, Dow is offering INNATE resins in commercial grade, now with qualities that allow customers to apply the technology in new ways.

For example, the resins can provide film stiffness needed to make the kind of stand-up pouches that are becoming increasingly popular in the food industry.

INNATE resins can also be used to make industrial films that easily withstand abuse like those needed for heavy-duty shipping sacks.

PACACEL Solventless Adhesive:
This laminating adhesive is all about speed. It can be used to form a package in less than a day and cuts the usual time from “lamination to slit” from eight to four hours.

It can be used in general- or high-performance applications in the food industry including coffee and beverage, candy bars, produce, dairy, snacks, ready meals, barrier films and meal trays.

Dow says the efficiency and speed PACACEL offers increase “just-in-time” business opportunities and better value for users.  

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