Flex Films launches metallic polyester ultra-high barrier film ‘F-UHB-M’ for Al Foil replacement

A high-value proposition recyclable film packed with industry-leading barrier and metal bond performance, economic benefits, and sustainability quotient
Flex Films launches metallic polyester ultra-high barrier film ‘F-UHB-M’ for Al Foil replacement

Flex Films introduces new avant-garde patented BOPET high barrier film F-UHB-M

Photo - UFlex

Flex Films, the global film manufacturing arm of flexible packaging giant UFlex, has launched its new avant-garde patented BOPET high barrier film F-UHB-M, designed to replace aluminum foil in flexible packaging applications. To be manufactured in Flex Films Kentucky plant and supplied across the world, F-UHB-M addresses challenges of the Converting Industry that have relied for long on aluminum foil for packaging despite several of its limitations, including material availability, high material cost, weak integrity, propensity for in-use pinhole formation and difficulty in recycling.

Superior gas and water barrier

With its new specially formulated bi-axially oriented, polyester (BOPET) structure, F-UHB-M comes with superior gas and water barrier while achieving one of the lowest oxygen and moisture barrier values (0.1 cc/ m2-day & 0.1 gm/m2-day, respectively) and industry-leading metal adhesion of 1200 gm/25mm that aids improvement and extension of product shelf-life. Barrier performance is retained after incorporating F-UHB-M into a multi-layer laminate structure, demonstrating excellent handling, machinability, and resistance to pinhole formation.

Flex Films’ novel film offers a thickness of 12 microns and coating technology together with a very high optical density, is compatible with a wide range of inks and adhesives, has better machinability and handling during processing, generates lesser scrap during production, comes with good flex crack resistance, has 20% increased puncture resistance vs BOPET grades, an advanced in-line inspection mechanism in place to ensure consistency in barrier properties; and far less pinhole density than aluminum foils making it less susceptible to gases and water vapor leakages. All of these lend the new BOPET film a strong competitive edge and make it suitable for a whole host of flexible packaging applications, particularly those dominated by laminate comprising aluminum foil, placing it among the best in the packaging film industry.

Simpler, easily recyclable 3-ply laminate structure

Besides superior barrier performance and bond strength, F-UHB-M offers multiple benefits for customers ranging from cost efficiency, higher sustainability quotient to efficient use in logistics and eCommerce. One of the biggest challenges that the packaging film industry faces today is reducing food wastage through enhanced shelf-life of food products and packaging material consumption through laminate rationalization. F-UHB-M helps Converting industry move from a ‘difficult to recycle 4-ply laminate structure with aluminum foil’ to a ‘much simpler, easily recyclable 3-ply laminate structure with F-UHB-M film’ without compromising on barrier performance, thus helping the customer achieve reduced laminate weight and lesser cost with a minimized carbon footprint.

While the new high barrier film’s protective oxygen and moisture barrier system help lock in flavors and aroma of food products for longer than those of products packaged in aluminum foils, the high metal bond strength ensures no delamination making the laminate a lot more secure and packed product safe and retain quality. These advantages come in very handy for the eCommerce industry, for which transporting products long distances safely and efficiently, without any damages, to their consumers is the name of the game.

Cost-effective film

As against traditional aluminum foils, the materials cost of F-UHB-M is less impacted by price fluctuations, allowing the customer to make better cost forecasts. With a better yield per unit area, F-UHB-M will prove to be a highly cost-effective film.

The film, which is FDA compliant, has been made to suit customer needs for applications in medical packaging; packaging for dried and powdered items like dried meats, coffee, yeast, snacks and nuts; energy drinks packaging; vacuum insulated panels; bag-in-box and many more.

Talking about the benefits of this innovation, Vijay Yadav, Business head, FLEXFILMS (USA), said, “Gathering market intelligence, the need to find a better replacement for conventional aluminum foil was established which otherwise comes with quite a few limitations besides being highly sensitive to damages often compromising the barrier performance of packaging. While developing high barrier F-UHB-M, priority was given to upscale the barrier properties matching that of an aluminum foil to deliver the best packaging experience to our customers. Our teams have worked extensively on creating a real high value-added film with numerous benefits so that our converting partners gain from reduced manufacturing cost, much better performance and achieve economies of scale while going sustainable with their packaging at the same time. This film will act as a game-changer in the packaging industry, giving the industry a product like never before.”

Adding to it on the new film’s potential, Anantshree Chaturvedi, vice chairman and chief executive officer, Flex Films, said, “We are in the business of offering solutions to challenges that packaging faces and one that complements evolving market needs. Customer-centric innovation helps us in introducing products that cater to the specific requirements of our clients. The F-UHB-M film has been developed keeping in mind the enhanced safety parameters and lesser complexities that convertors want and green packaging that consumer seeks. With this film, we are accelerating our innovation strategy and delivering a solution that is sustainable and cost-effective.”

If you are visiting Pack Expo 2021 at Las Vegas Convention Centre from 27-29 September 2021, hop across to Flex Films booth N-9115 to experience the film firsthand.

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