A peek at the science behind colored PP containers at PACK EXPO

Linda Casey

March 11, 2015

2 Min Read
A peek at the science behind colored PP containers at PACK EXPO


PACK EXPO attendees are getting a peek at the random copolymer compounds used in Thumbs Up (Bury), Ltd.'s new line of food and domestic storage PP packaging. The new packaging is manufactured from an enhanced quality (EQ) PP resin with Millad NX8000 Clarifying Agent and ClearTint Polymeric Dyes. According to Milliken & Co., the manufacture of the clarifying agent and polymeric dyes, the combination provides high clarity.


Specifically, Millad NX8000 is engineered to improve clarity and gloss in PP applications to levels comparable with "glass clear" polymers such as PET, polycarbonate and acrylics and even glass itself. It is equally applicable in products made by injection molding, extrusion-blow molding and injection-blow molding. The additive has also been demonstrated to help yield important energy savings and cycle time reductions for processors due to its solubility in PP. Because its solubility is much higher than conventional clarifiers, there is a significant reduction in processing temperatures - around 30-C deg in some cases - without having a negative effect on clarity says the company. 

"While UC indicates a step change in clarity and gloss to levels comparable with ‘glass clear' polymers, EQ gives significant improvements in transparency and aesthetics together with a wider processing window and improved productivity," remarks Sami T.K Palanisami, Milliken's market manager for plastic additives for Europe and the Middle East. "The achievements at Thumbs Up help demonstrate the potential of using Enhanced Quality resins containing Millad NX8000."
Explaining Thumbs Up's decision to use ClearTint together with Millad NX8000, Thumbs Up CEO John McGuinness says, "Our own consumer research and discussions with major retailers related to our in-mold decoration process indicated that we needed to look at tints that would not negatively affect the advantages of the new clarified material, but would help further increase the consumer appeal of the containers." 

ClearTint polymeric dyes complement Millad NX8000 because they are non-extractable and suitable for food contact applications nor do they affect part shrinkage, which can be a problem with pigments often used in polyolefins.



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