dispatches from K Show 2013

Polyscope changes gears with food packaging focus

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Peter Tackx of Polyscope details their moves into food packaging at K Show
Peter Tackx of Polyscope details their moves into food packaging at K Show

Related tags Food packaging

Polyscope is to apply for food contact approval on one of its terpolymer grades and target niche applications in a move into the food packaging market.

The firm develops styrene, maleic anhydride and N-phenylmaleimide (SMA and SMANPMI) terpolymers, marketed as XIRAN.

The Xiran IZ grades exhibit a glass transition temperature (Tg) of 175°C or higher and can be exposed to higher processing temperatures in styrenic polymers like ABS.

Benefits to the food packaging sector centre around increasing heat performance of engineering plastics and particularly styrenic polymers.

Awaiting EU approval

Peter Tackx, director sales and business development, said the grade is not yet approved for food contact in the EU but the firm are in the process of getting the necessary green light.

“One of the things that we think is attractive is the fact that our product offering is quite good and we are not active in food at the moment," ​he told FoodProductionDaily.com at K Show in Dusseldorf.

"We do see some general trends in the food packaging market like the discussion around BPA, although not banned some companies are moving away from BPA containing polycarbonates and Polyscope is developing, as we speak, materials that can compete with BPA containing polycarbonate and then on a non-polycarbonate and BPA-free and transparent material which should be interesting for the general market in order to avoid this BPA discussion."

Polyscope was founded in 2006 and is trying to diversify into other segments to be less dependant on the automotive sector, with their engineering plastics unit developing food packaging through their expertise in neat resin and compounding knowledge.

Tackx said next to organic growth through their own core competetencies they are looking at acquisitions and partnerships with other companies already established in different segments.

The aim is to incorporate those materials in their product portfolio, especially in transparent parts and packaging which they said will be moving faster in the coming years.

Taking the heat

Higher heat performance of transparent materials that can be used in food packaging like PMMA, SBS with limited high heat performance and stability, is what Xiran IZ can bring heat performance to the polymers so that the packaging can resist boiling water or be microwaveable.   

Tackx said they understand they are not going for commodity applications with so many other players out there.

"But we will focus on niche applications where the combination of high impact and high heat resistance is playing an important role.

"Where other materials lack the performance our IZ grade can be used in combination with these other materials in compounds and bring you that extra property profile that you need to get the application working."

He added that the target market is where high heat and high impact is needed.

The terpolymer was recently recognised with a Frost & Sullivan innovation award and can be injection moulded or extruded for production of plastic parts.

Related topics Processing & Packaging

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