Cost effective ‘clear’ aluminium oxide film to get North American launch

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: North america

A clear aluminium oxide coated barrier film to be launched onto the North American market offers significant cost savings over similar previous metallized packaging, said the US company behind the move.

Tennessee-based FILMtech Inc said customers could realize cost savings of up to 50 per cent on its Ceramalox aluminium oxide film that will initially be targeted at the packaged meat and cheese sectors.

Although the films have been used in Europe for a number of years, the higher cost of clear aluminium oxide coated film in North America compared to cheaper PVDC materials has restricted its take up in the food industry, FILMtech business development manager Dave DeAngelis told FoodProductionDaily.com.

“Previous aluminium oxide coated films have been around twice the price of PVDC ones. But we have now managed to virtually cut those costs in half,”​ he added.

The aluminium oxide film is microwavable and, thanks to its high surface tension, easier to print on and laminate.

Superior barrier properties

The company has teamed up with UK-based product manufacturer Ultimet Films Ltd to distribute the FT-CBA-48 film under the name Ceramalox. It exhibits superior barrier properties than PVDC film, providing better protection from helium, twice the protection from moisture and up to three times from oxygen, said FlimTech. It is also a greener option because it does not contain chlorine.

“We are currently acting as distributors for the film in North America but will be manufacturing it ourselves under license from Ultimet in future,”​ said DeAngelis. “Machinery at our plant will be retrofitted and we expect to be producing 3-4 million pounds (1.3m- 1.8m kg) by the end of the year or early 2011.”

Ultimet Film said it is one of only two UK firms to manufacture the aluminium oxide clear film, which in Europe is widely used as lidding on meat and fish products and known as Alox.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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