Metallized barrier films take 2021 AIMCAL Technology of the Year

Max Specialty Films India recognized for source-reduced, coated BOPP films that replace common but less-recyclable, three-layer structures.

By Contributing Editor Hallie Forcinio

Max Speciality Films Ltd. India (Rupnagar, India) has won the 2021 Assn. of International Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL) 2021 Technology of the Year Award for its new heat-sealable, metallized barrier-film family – OB5. Along with two Technical Excellence Award winners, all three were honored during a virtual awards presentation today, and also will be recognized at PACK EXPO Las Vegas and the AIMCAL R2R USA Conference / SPE FlexPackCon 2021 (Oct. 17-21, Orlando, FL), co-located with ICEC USA 2021.

 The patent-pending OB5 biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) barrier films currently come in two grades – MDS180B5 and 25MUS-OB5. Both grades rely on an in-line coating process that boosts barrier and metal-adhesion properties, minimizes coating thickness versus conventional offline coating, eliminates the offline-coating process step, and reduces material handling, scrap, and greenhouse gas emissions. The resulting two-layer metallized-BOPP film replaces less-recyclable, three-layer polyethylene terephthalate (PET)/metallized PET/low-density polyethylene structures, which are commonly used for snack-food packaging.

The judges liked the huge potential for broad application of the metallized barrier film in the food industry and the positive environmental impact of the material’s simpler structure. In short, “It maintains barrier properties with fewer layers,” commented one judge. 

Judges for the competition met via Zoom in a session moderated by AIMCAL Executive Director Chris Kerscher. Members of the judging panel included experts in converting and packaging: Dr. Charles A. Bishop of C.A. Bishop Consulting, Ltd. (Loughborough, UK); Larry Jopko, principal of Stickum Consultancy LLC (Houston, TX); Robert M. Kimmel, Sc.D., associate professor, dir.-Packaging Science Program, dir.-Center for Flexible Packaging, Dept. of Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences, Clemson University (Clemson, SC); Steve Lange, managing member of ProcessDev LLC (Cincinnati, OH); and Michael Ulsh, group mgr.-Process Science & Engineering, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL, Golden, CO).

The AIMCAL Product of the Year Award is part of the AIMCAL Awards program, which also includes Product of the Year and Sustainability Award competitions and the AIMCAL Hall of Honor.

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Technical Excellence Awards

The judges also bestowed two Technical Excellence Awards in the Technology of the Year competition, one to Madico, Inc. (Pinellas Park, FL), for its ViewScape Repair Kit, and the other to D&K Group (Elk Grove Village, IL) for its Endura Overlams™ thermal laminating film.

The patent-pending ViewScape Repair Kit from Madico simplifies the repair of holes and tears in ETFE (ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene copolymer) membrane materials used for stadium roofs. It also boosts the durability of the repairs versus the tape used previously and extends the life of the roof. The kit contains patches of repair material as well as a surface treater with a patented tip. After the surface treater is used to prepare the surface, the patch is applied. In the future, Madico expects the patches to be used to repair larger tears or holes or strengthen high-stress areas to prevent damage. 

Although this is a narrow-niche product, the judges noted its superiority over existing repair options and its potential for expanded usage.

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D&K Group’s Endura Overlams manufacturing process improves the performance of thermal-laminating film and cuts costs 50% compared to pressure-sensitive films. The patent-pending process modifies the polyester-film surface to create an indestructible bond between the film layer and a copolymer thermal coating. Other thermal laminating films on the market contain a primer layer that weakens the product construction and ultimately results in delamination. The bond created in the Endura Overlams process withstands exposure to water, solvents, or cleaning solutions as well as everyday wear and tear. Applications include loyalty cards and other types of identification, parking passes, and durable signage for pools, spas, ice-skating rinks, and other wet environments.

The judges were impressed by the lamination technology. One noted, “This process results in a very robust ID card.”

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