PFAS-free additives for the plastics industry

Tosaf, a globally active manufacturer of additives, compounds, and colour masterbatches for the plastics industry, has developed processing aids for the extrusion of polyolefins that do not contain fluoroelastomers. They can be used without restriction in place of conventional products currently affected by the PFAS debate, are suitable for a wide range of film applications, and they meet the requirements of the FDA and EFSA for use in contact with food. While AP9709PE EU provides enhanced rheological properties, AP9711PE EU is the grade of choice if the focus is on optical properties, including clarity and haze.

In laboratory tests, Tosaf compared the processing properties of a metallocene PE-LLD with those of compounds based on it. One of these contained Tosaf's standard fluoroelastomer-based processing aid (AP5645PE EU), while the comparison materials contained the alternative PFAS-free products. The results for the flow behaviour in the capillary rheometer and for the pressure reduction in the extruder die were largely consistent. The comparison of the optical properties – light transmission, haze and clarity – even showed slight advantages of the PFAS-free solutions over both the pure PE-LLD and the compound with the previous standard processing aid. The coefficient of friction (COF) showed a negligibly lower value for the film produced with the PFAS-free solution.

Current customer applications include a 5-layer coex-line using 1 % of Tosaf's PFAS-free processing aid AP9709PE EUin the outer layer. Compared to a standard PFAS-based processing aid, this enables a 5°C to 10°C lower melt temperature and shows a significant lower occurrence of melt fracture as well as improved optical properties such as haze. The films can be printed, sealed and laminated without any problems.

As Tosaf's Chief Innovation Scientist Dr Evgeni Zelikman comments: "This and other customer data for single and multilayer film extrusion consistently confirm the results of our extensive laboratory testing. Tosaf has once again demonstrated that its expertise, combined with its state-of-the-art research, development and testing facilities, can deliver solutions that the market is looking for, but which were previously considered unthinkable. Another particularly important factor for us is the problem-free behaviour of PFAS-free mono-material PE films in recycling. Our application engineers support manufacturers worldwide in optimising their production processes for the use of these alternative solutions."

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