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Dow Unveils New Product Line for Hot Melt Adhesives and Polymer Modification

Published on 2004-07-09. Author : SpecialChem


The Dow Chemical Company announced the commercial launch of AFFINITY* GA Polyolefin Plastomers (POPs), a new line of highly versatile polyolefin polymers. Devel-oped using Dow's proprietary INSITE* Technology and Solution Process, AFFINITY GA POPs are the first products of their kind specifically developed for hot melt adhesive for-mulations and a range of polymer modification applications.

"AFFINITY GA POPs are the latest example of Dow's commitment to the ongoing development of a broad portfolio of plastics that deliver performance differentiation to our customers," said Greg Jozwiak, Business Director for Elastomers & Specialty Products. "As an extension of the family of AFFINITY POPs, these new products address unmet needs across a number of major plastics processing segments and several specialty applications."

AFFINITY GA POPs are characterized by novel chemistry that combines high flow and low crystallinity, a unique combination designed to deliver a new level of performance, processing and economic value to compounders, processors, and hot melt adhesive formulators. Dow is currently offering commercial quantities of two AFFINITY GA POPs products:

  • AFFINITY GA 1950 POP with a density of 0.874, a viscosity of 17,000 cps at 350º F (177°C) (by Brookfield spindle #31), and an approximate melt index of 500.
  • AFFINITY GA 1900 POP with a density of 0.870, a viscosity of 8,200 cps at 350º F (177°C) (by Brookfield spindle #31), and an approximate melt index of 1000.

AFFINITY GA POPs for Hot Melt Adhesive Applications

AFFINITY GA POPs are ideal for hot melt adhesive applications such as packaging (case and carton sealing), disposable nonwovens (adult and infant hygiene products), and graphic arts (bookbinding). These new high flow products provide hot melt users with a number of distinct processing and performance advantages compared to EVA-based ad-hesives, including reduced filter plugging, less machine wear and tear, improved color and clarity, negligible odor, and decreased system downtime.

"An important technical difference between AFFINITY GA POPs and EVA-based adhesives is that EVA-based polymers have oxygen in the backbone, which can contribute to color change and oxidation, and ultimately to poor sealing reliability," said Dr. Selim Yalvac, Development Leader, Polyethylene and INSITE* Technology Development. "AFFINITY GA POPs have no such oxygen in the backbone, making them much more stable and reliable for clean running hot melt applications."

Unlike most traditional EVA-based adhesives, AFFINITY GA POPs can also bond over a broad range of temperatures, making them especially ideal for reliably sealing cases and cartons. AFFINITY GA 1950 POP is designed for conventional application temperatures of 350º F (177°C) while AFFINITY GA 1900 POP combines aggressive bonding with im-proved thermal stability for low application temperatures of 250º F (120°C) to 275º F (135°C). The advantages of AFFINITY GA POPs provide an opportunity for cost savings and improved economics for formulators and end users.

"For hot melt formulators, product differentiation is the name of the game," said Mike Levinson, Global Business Development Manager, Plastics. "By offering superior per-formance, process improvement and the opportunity for economic benefit, AFFINITY GA POPs enable formulators to develop truly differentiated, higher value formulations that meet the existing and emerging needs of their customers."

AFFINITY GA POPs for Polymer Modification Applications

AFFINITY GA POPs can also be used to modify the flow, flexibility, adhesion, and me-chanical properties of a broad range of other polymers - allowing for their use in a wide range of applications. Many plastic end products produced by injection molding, extru-sion, blow molding or powder injection molding can be enhanced by formulating with AFFINITY GA POPs during compounding or processing operations.

For example, AFFINITY GA POPs can be compounded or blended with other plastics to improve flow properties. Added at low levels in thermoplastic olefins (TPOs), the new polymers substantially improve flow without reducing impact resistance. If used to mod-ify the flow and flexibility of styrene ethylene butylene styrene (SEBS) and thermoplastic vulcanites (TPVs), AFFINITY GA POPs deliver the lubricity of wax or oil modifiers without overriding concerns about brittleness or blooming to the surface.

In masterbatch applications, the high filler loading capabilities of AFFINITY GA POPs make them extremely efficient and cost-effective carriers for hard-to-load colors and/or additives. With melting points around 158º F (70º C) AFFINITY GA POPs are ideal choices for preserving the integrity of temperature-sensitive additives. Additionally, the low viscosity of AFFINITY GA POPs enables rapid dispersion in the end use compound.

As tie-layers in multi-laminate structures such as nonwovens and films, AFFINITY GA POPs offer improved adhesion along with excellent flexibility and toughness - whether they are used alone, blended with other polymers, or even spun into a web. Likewise, the polymers demonstrate excellent performance as additives in the binder systems of thermoplastic road paints by enhancing adhesion, durability, and retro reflectivity, especially in colder climates.

A unique combination of high loading capabilities, easy processing and clean burning also allows AFFINITY GA POPs to create new net shape forming possibilities at extremely low costs as carriers for metal and ceramic injection molding applications.

"Compounders, processors and manufacturers of specialty applications have one very important thing in common," said Levinson. "They all seek differentiated product solu-tions that drive superior performance and innovation through to the end product. AF-FINITY GA POPs enable that differentiation and help them pass along better products with improved overall economics to their customers."

New Products Build on Years of Company Insight and Commercial Success

With these new products, Dow is further extending its successful family of AFFINITY POPs. Some of the first products created using INSITE Technology from Dow, AFFINITY POPs are typically used as a sealant, delivering a superior combination of low seal initia-tion temperature, hot tack strength, seal through contamination, toughness, tear resistance, and transparency.

AFFINITY POPs are currently used in many food packaging applications, including fresh-cut produce, milk, fresh and processed meat, and bulk cheeses. They are also being utilized for hygiene and medical applications as sealant layers or for elastic film applica-tions, such as diaper tabs, waist bands and backsheets; and for packaging consumer and personal care products, such as detergents, powdered soaps, and shampoos. The toughness and durability of AFFINITY POPs also can benefit durable goods applications - either as the base polymer or when used in blends with other polymers to affect the flow of processing or flexibility of the finished product - such as flooring, containers, extruded profiles, and injection and rotomolded items.

Source: The Dow Chemical Company

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