Polymers
MINBLOC 2018-03-16T22:07:13+00:00

MINBLOC PLASTIC FILM ADDITIVES

The MINBLOC® product line reflects Unimin’s continuous focus on re-investment in superior mineral deposits, process innovation, and customer-driven development programs. MINBLOC products are processed and refined in manufacturing facilities engineered to optimize particle size distribution and surface area for performance in flexible film. Product consistency is assured with quality monitoring systems designed to control and optimize mineral mining, processing, and beneficiation. Processes and analytical services receive additional certification under ISO.

Packaging Film

With a refractive index that is nearly identical to that of clarity grade polyolefin resins, MINBLOC operates transparently in the polymer matrix. This optical advantage is attributed to a uniquely occurring combination of refractive index and particle morphology. When enhanced by a proprietary refining technology, MINBLOC delivers antiblocking functionality with the industry’s lowest haze values and excellent clarity and gloss performance.

With a refractive index that is nearly identical to that of clarity grade polyolefin resins, MINBLOC operates transparently in the polymer matrix. This optical advantage is attributed to a uniquely occurring combination of refractive index and particle morphology. When enhanced by a proprietary refining technology, MINBLOC delivers antiblocking functionality with the industry’s lowest haze values and excellent clarity and gloss performance.

By the very nature of their operation, antiblocking additives introduce surface irregularities that diminish film optical properties through the light scattering effect. Lab analyses confirm that the statistical control of MINBLOC particle extremes operate synergistically to preserve the optical properties of barefoot resins; even in hazier resin types and stickier film systems. This unique optical property has allowed MINBLOC to become a standard for high clarity LDPE film and make it advantageous in a broad range of polyolefins including butene, hexene and octene LLDPE resins, high clarity metallocene catalyzed products, and a variety of co-polymer and blended resins.

MINBLOC imparts essential antiblocking functionality to the wide range of high clarity packaging film without diminishing critical structural, mechanical or optical properties. While the natural tendency of adjoining layers of polyolefin film is to adhere, the optimized MINBLOC particle size distribution produces a microscopic surface roughening that delivers the desired number of peaks per unit area and height in proportion to the film thickness. Lab tests confirm that MINBLOC delivers cost-effective performance that is fully equivalent to all premium natural and synthetic antiblocks.

MINBLOC particle size distributions are engineered to maximize retention in the critical 2 to 10 mm range and to minimize ultrafine particle content. Particle morphology and particle size distribution also facilitates a complete dispersion without agglomeration throughout the polymer matrix. When subjected to the high shear forces of compounding and extrusion MINBLOC maintains its physical integrity without breakdown into a sub-performing particle size distribution.

MINBLOC is proven compatible with the entire range of polyolefin resins including LDPE, LLDPE, PP, EVA copolymers and blends, and is efficiently incorporated in polymers made by all processes and catalyst systems. An inert and nonreactive material, MINBLOC is compounded with minimal chemical or physical interaction with other components of the additives package. With controlled surface area and fewer interactive sites, MINBLOC virtually eliminates modifier and stabilizer inefficiencies due to absorption, surface adhesion or chemical reaction. Its natural affinity for polymer wetting also improves dispersion without the need for surface treatments or coatings.

MINBLOC often improves the performance and cost-effectiveness of slip additives, antioxidants, stabilizers, colorants and other processing aids. In some formulations, MINBLOC operates synergistically with erucamide slip additives to optimize both slip and antiblock performance to improve film production and handling properties. MINBLOC additions have no adverse effect on high-speed conversion and heat-sealing processes or impact on film treatment and ink adhesion in high definition flexographic printing.

Horticultural Film

MINBLOC containing films can enhance plant growth by transmitting more photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) to accelerate photosynthesis. Because MINBLOC’s refractive index essentially matches the host plastic, visible light transmittance can measure in excess of 90%. This accelerates crop growth, increases yield and improves quality. The MINBLOC refractive index also permits loading levels in excess of the traditional 10% limit to optimize thermicity without degrading optical properties. Flow and dispersion properties make MINBLOC a natural choice for highly loaded films.

MINBLOC containing films can enhance plant growth by transmitting more photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) to accelerate photosynthesis. Because MINBLOC’s refractive index essentially matches the host plastic, visible light transmittance can measure in excess of 90%. This accelerates crop growth, increases yield and improves quality. The MINBLOC refractive index also permits loading levels in excess of the traditional 10% limit to optimize thermicity without degrading optical properties. Flow and dispersion properties make MINBLOC a natural choice for highly loaded films.

MINBLOC can also be used to modulate indirect or diffused light in horticultural film. Highly filled thermal films can have as much as 60% haze and still promote accelerated plant growth. By comparison, MINBLOC containing films typically deliver combined direct and indirect light transmittance in excess of 90%. The advantage is uniform plant growth without the shadowing or burn defects characteristic of unfiltered, direct sun exposure

MINBLOC additives improve thermal efficiency in air-inflated double-layer polyethylene greenhouses and in high and low tunnel applications. In controlled test environments, thermal LDPE films containing MINBLOC retain nearly 70% more heat than unfilled polyethylene. With strong infrared reflection properties in the mid-range 7 – 14 μm (1400 – 700 cm-1) wavelength region, MINBLOC filled polyolefin films retain as much as 88% of captured light energy. The cost benefit is greatest in cooler climates where the retention of accumulated greenhouse heat that would otherwise be lost overnight reduces supplemental space heating costs.

Thermicity is also a function of the particle’s light scattering effects. Utilizing proprietary classification technology, MINBLOC particle size distributions are optimized according to Mie theory to increase scattering effects by maximizing particle retention in the critical 7 – 14 micron range. Thermicity is further improved by skewing the distribution with larger particles that display slightly broader infrared bands.

MINBLOC purity also helps extend thermal film lifetime by eliminating the primary catalysts of environmental weathering. The deleterious effects of even trace amounts of iron, copper, nickel, zinc, chromium, and titanium in the film oxidation process are well recognized by the industry. Produced from extremely pure mineral feedstock, MINBLOC can reduce these contaminants by as much as 20X. In silage and field storage applications MINBLOC improves UV stability for reduced storage losses, improved integrity in handling and extended useful life.

MINBLOC does not block ultraviolet radiation and thermal film formulations should always contain UV blockers, stabilizers, and antioxidants to avoid plant burn. MINBLOC is fully compatible with HALS type (hindered amine light stabilizer) and similar process additives and will not absorb or interfere with their effectiveness. MINBLOC is compatible with all polyolefin thermal film resin systems and production methods and its incorporation does not degrade film mechanical properties.

Technical Services

When emerging opportunities require additional health and safety certifications or regulatory compliance, MINBLOC can provide a solution. MINBLOC offers formulators the ideal combination of performance and non-reactive service in the most demanding food packaging applications. MINBLOC functionality is achieved without surface treatments or dispersion aids, and is not processed with, nor does it contain, organic solvents or substances of animal origin. As a single component additive, MINBLOC simplifies the regulatory approval process. Chemical purity and general inertness make MINBLOC an excellent candidate for incorporation in medical device films and pharmaceutical packaging applications.

When emerging opportunities require additional health and safety certifications or regulatory compliance, MINBLOC can provide a solution. MINBLOC offers formulators the ideal combination of performance and non-reactive service in the most demanding food packaging applications. MINBLOC functionality is achieved without surface treatments or dispersion aids, and is not processed with, nor does it contain, organic solvents or substances of animal origin. As a single component additive, MINBLOC simplifies the regulatory approval process. Chemical purity and general inertness make MINBLOC an excellent candidate for incorporation in medical device films and pharmaceutical packaging applications.

MINBLOC is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) and complies with all known international regulatory requirements for direct and indirect food contact, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Commission of the European Communities Directive 2002/72/ EC. MINBLOC is exempt under Japan’s MITI regulations as a non-chemical substance. As a naturally occurring mineral additive, MINBLOC is exempt from the REACH registration protocol. MINBLOC complies with CONEG and the European Communities Directive 2002/95/EC (ROHS) regarding the restriction and use of certain hazardous substances.

MINBLOC development is application driven, with a “customer first” orientation that emphasizes technical exchange to develop functional additives that add value. Our technical sales organization is responsive to ever-changing customer objectives and aligned with Regional Centers of Excellence to effectively focus research and development resources to help achieve those objectives. With knowledge of our customer’s processes, resin systems, and end-use requirements, our goal is the continual improvement of MINBLOC additives and proactive development of next generation of MINBLOC solutions.

Supporting our technical sales organization is a research and development team of staff scientists and a dedicated Materials Research Laboratory. Here performance optimization and technical advancements are conceived and refined before customer evaluation. Fundamental research and additive characterization capabilities include FTIR spectroscopy, thermal analysis, x-ray diffraction, laser diffraction particle size analysis, surface area analysis, and electron microscopy. Applications research and performance evaluation capabilities include on-site compounding, extrusion, and film blowing.

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