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POINT #34. Low Cost Resin or Fillers for Thinwall Injection Moldin

Thank you for your interest.

IASP's open innovation POINT service is currently working in collaboration with P&G and on this occasion they wish to:

Identify low cost resin or fillers for thinwall injection molding

All proposals should be submitted by the 1st December 2017.

Background

POINT is scanning the IASP network for P&G to find innovative tenant companies, universities/academic programmes, technology centres and/or groups or persons with a way to reduce resin cost for a high volume, thin wall [<1mm] package component, that today is made via high speed injection molding of 100% petrol based on low density polyethylene [LDPE] resin.

Some key material properties of today‚Äôs typical LDPE homopolymer are:  flexibility, warp resistance, melt index 20-30g/10min [ASTM D1238], tensile strength at yield 10-15 MPa, Shore D hardness 50-55, density 0.9g/cm3.  As for material cost reference, North America market LDPE resin pricing is about $1.65/kg [$0.75/lb] and subject to oil pricing fluctuations.

 

P&G is looking for:

  • Cost effective, commercial ready material replacement to LDPE that can run in existing injection molds or low cost fillers that can be added to LDPE as blend to yield savings in the molded part.  For example, polypropylene [PP] may be lower cost and would be of interest if it can meet the material property requirements (specified above) and is compatible with the existing injection molds.
  • Low cost fillers are also a very interesting possibility provided they have been established to be compatible with high speed injection molding process without the abrasion seen with some materials like calcium carbonate.
  • Material with lesser environmental footprint, so more sustainable.
  • Material with supply base in North America and Europe.  

Preference for materials:

1)     In general the material must:

a.     Be safe for human contact

b.     Be stable, so not subject to water permeation, microbial contamination, or absorption

c.      Have ability to blend with masterbatch [colorant] for different effects

d.     Not change significantly the mechanical or part surface properties [gloss and/or matte]

e.     Ideally have IP protection or exclusivity, though at minimum have no restrictions for use

2)     Molding/Dimension/Shrinkage Control

a.     Can survive injection molding process, where temperatures can exceed 230oC.

b.     Have similar dimensional stability and shrinkage as LDPE.

c.      Can run in thin wall part, typical 0.5-1.0mm wall thickness.

d.     Maintain the key moldability properties comparable to LDPE as specified in the introduction above, particularly the tensile, hardness and melt index properties.

e.     Fillers must be proven to work in an injection molding process without mold abrasion.

3)     Cost:

a.     For direct replacement the new material should be <$1.50/kg.

b.     For fillers, please consider density and maximum percent for best cost.

P&G are NOT looking for solutions or technologies that:

  •         Have not been commercialized in injection molding
  •         Are not expected to have minimum safety [i.e. FDA] approval in < 2 years
  •         Are harmful to injection molds
  •         Are technologies/innovations w/o IP protection or freedom to use
  •         Approaches to reduce resin use by reductions in wall thickness as that would necessitate injection mold changes


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