The looming new regulations in Europe and the USA imposing limitations and bans on the use of fluoropolymers and PFAS-containing chemicals are accelerating the development of alternatives that are free from these substances.
Long used as polymer processing aids (PPAs), fluoropolymers, and PFAS-containing chemicals are known to promote stable melt flow, reduce die buildup, and address other flow-related challenges.
PPA manufacturers have been working to come up with innovative solutions that comply with stringent regulations while maintaining production efficiency.
A pioneer in this area is the global Kafrit Group, which has introduced a new line of PFAS-free PPAs, developed with local expertise by Polyfil in the USA and CONSTAB in Europe. The challenge facing the efforts was to develop products offering the same level of performance and application range as traditional PFAS-containing solutions. Usually, standard PPAs effectively tackle multiple production issues like melt fracture, die buildup, interfacial instability, and high die pressure.
The collaboration between the companies has yielded solutions to a variety of processing technologies, different polymers, and a wide range of temperatures. These include a single universal PPA, as well as a wide portfolio of PFAS-free masterbatches to address each flow-related challenge separately. Manufacturers can therefore to tailor their PPAs to their specific requirements for an optimum production process.
Some of the solutions have high-temperature suitability, up to 310oC (590oF). These are ideal for pipe extrusion and HDPE MDO films, enabling the production of mono-material films that facilitate easy recycling and promote sustainability.
With FDA and EFSA approvals for food contact, Kafrit Group’s PFAS-free PPAs can be used in various applications, including cast and blown films.
As regulations continue to evolve, these solutions enable manufacturers to navigate the changing regulatory landscape, without compromising on quality or efficiency, thus ushering in the next step in responsible plastic manufacturing.
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