As per the specific requisites, a huge array of plastic materials exist, which found their use in several areas. For packaging purposes, the polymers used can be broadly classified into 6 classes. Every class have their uses and advantages in given requirements.
Polyethene terephthalate (PET or PETE)
Contributing 18% in the world’s plastic products, PET or PETE has extensive uses as a plastic packaging material. Its thermosetting and moisture-barring ability makes it suitable for use in packaging.
- PET plastic is utilised in a massive way to manufacture different oil and grease pouches.
- Due to its higher mechanical strength, it is used in manufacturing of different tapes such as the BOPP Tapes.
- Similarly, the material is also used to manufacture BOPP Tape Jumbo Roll.
- It is stiff and has a higher strength than other plastics, which increase its endurance.
- Its light-weightiness makes it easy to handle and transport.
- It is shatter-resistant, electrical insulant and has a broad temperature range.
High-density Polyethylene (HDPE or PEHD)
With the global production of 30 million tons a year, HDPE fabrics, packagings, containers, plastic etc. are used worldwide from households to mega-industries. HDPE acts as a strong and impact-resistant plastic packaging material.
- Plastic mailing envelopes are usually synthesized from HDPE plastic.
- As a substitute for transparent LDPE bags, inflated-film HDPE bags with holders are incorporated.
- Non-transparent containers are formed from HDPE material for oils and ointments.
- Jerrycans for petroleum and aromatic products are made from HDPE material as it resists softening and swelling.
- It has stiff material and is impact-resistant, which increase its durability.
- It is non-reactive to most chemicals and solvents, which makes it well-suited for chemical packaging.
- It is non-leaching and leak-free, hence, best for liquid packing.
Polystyrene is used in the industry in both solid and foam forms. It has a large number of applications in the packaging industry. In foam form, it is largely used as a protective plastic packaging material.
- Foam polystyrene has vast application in manufacturing of various products such as double side cloth tapes.
- It can be also used in manufacturing of Speciality Plastic Films.
- It is moldable to any desired shape.
- It is both in coloured and transparent form.
- It is an excellent eclectic insulator and is easy to work with.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
World’s fourth most produced and used plastic PVC, which has a popular reputation in piping, also has several uses as a plastic packaging material. It has two basic forms: rigid and flexible.
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is majorly used in manufacturing of Shrink Films due to its various properties.
- It can be welded and shaped in any desirable form.
- It is resistant to weathering and abrasion, which makes it apt for long-term packaging.
- PVC plastics are self-extinguishing i.e. if the fire is stopped they will cool down spontaneously.
The revenues from PP production are expected to grow by 5.8%. PP has a growing use in industry and is also extensively used for packaging.
- Coloured and transparent box straps are synthesized using PP material.
- PP is used in packaging for products to be shipped at long-distances.
- Light-walled PP products are used in food packaging.
- High impact toughness, fatigue resistance, and bend strength enable it to endure physical damages.
- It is quite resistant to moisture.
- It is non-reactive towards the majority of acids and bases.
Low-density Polyethylene (LDPE)
LDPE is the less dense form of polyethylene. It is used as packaging material as well as protection foam.
- Containers and trays used in food and consumer goods packaging are made from LDPE.
- As an alternative to polystyrene, LDPE packaging foam is used for product safety.
- Thermoplastic wrapping films are made from LDPE.
- LDPE is also used in manufacturing milk films.
- LDPE’s low stiffness and high flexibility prove best for the protection of goods.
- It is also resistant to most of the reactive chemicals.