23 June 2009 15:34 [Source: ICIS news]
CHICAGO (ICIS news)--Foamed polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a rising product offering that is set to capture market share from a beleaguered polystyrene (PS) industry, attendees said at the Chicago-based 2009 National Plastics Exhibition on Tuesday.
Specialty products such as egg cartons have long been the domain of PS sellers, but now face growing competition from foamed PET, said DAK Americas business director Tom Sherlock.
The gas-infused version of the popular food-grade resin can be made with clarity and UV resistance, making it an appealing alternative to the opaque and sometimes porous PS and expandable polystyrene (EPS), especially in packaging applications where a visible product is desirable.
But foamed PET is not solely gaining ground at the expense of PS and EPS.
Packaging development teams like that of Plastic Technologies (PTI) are blazing new trails in the PET sector with offerings like pure foam and overlayed foam containers, made by injecting traditional PET with nitrogen gas.
Foamed PET can provide 3-4% lighter weight containers in addition to the aesthetic benefits, said Frank Semersky, vice president of PTI.
The specialised preforms made from foamed PET do not encounter the heating and high-speed processing issues that are seen with other polymers, and the opaque version can be recycled into the clear recycling stream without contaminating the reprocessed material, Semersky said.
More than 40,000 people had registered to attend the NPE as of mid-Monday. The event continues through Friday.
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