As said in my previous article about the DuPont Packaging Awards 2012 in this post I write about the Microcellular Technology of InCycle CPET, Sulwhasoo Dahamsul’s cream jar, and the Tide PODS Liquid Unit Dose Laundry Detergent. But I want to start with one more winner: the AirOPack by IPS Innovative Packaging Solutions.
AirOPack, an Innovative Aerosol Dispenser Technology
Honoured for Excellence in Innovation and Sustainability, the AirOPack, by IPS Innovative Packaging Solutions AG in Switzerland, is a new, innovative technology to dispense fluids, high viscosity liquids and creams by using a patented pressure control device that relies on air instead of conventional hydrocarbon chemical propellants. This system can replace traditional aerosol products that are used today with conventional metal cans and chemical propellants.
This dispenser consists of a blow-moulded plastic container fitted with a compressed air chamber and a pressure control device to protect against pressure drop, improve ease of use and ensure the maximum amount of product can be extracted from the container. Since it is made entirely of plastic it can be recycled after use. AirOPack is unique to the aerosol dispenser industry. Consumers can see the product. Replacing flammable propellant gas with air also eliminates adverse effects on the environment.
AirOpack is an aerosol alternative based on pure compressed air instead of commonly used propellants. This technology makes it possible to fill liquids, creams, gels or foams into plastic containers instead of cans made of tinplate or aluminium and then to dispense the contents with constant pressure by means of a unique pressure-control system. When manufacturing the dispensers, CO2 emissions can be reduced by as much as 65% and energy consumption by approximately 20% compared to common aluminium aerosol cans.
The AirOpack dispensers are filled with the customer’s various products, labelled, packed and shipped ready-for-sale using a high-speed filling and automated packing line.
Microcellular Technology Keeps Food Containers Cool or Hot
Through the use of the ad-air solid-state microcellular plastics process, MicroGREEN Polymers Inc., uses non-reacting, recycled CO2 gas to thermoform recycled PET plastic rolls into inherently insulating trays and cups. The InCycle CPET trays and the cold party cups are 45% lighter than their solid plastic counterparts and are respectively 70% and 60% less dense, resulting in lower thermal conductivity. This allows consumers to handle CPET trays straight from the oven without being burnt and keeps the beverage in their cold party cups refreshingly cold, while providing significant environmental benefits.
Ad-air clean technology creates a microcellular structure in common thermoplastics. In contrast to melt-state chemical foaming processes, this technology does not require any harmful chemicals or VOCs, and the location and size of the micro-bubbles is precisely controllable. The material can then be printed as a flat sheet or converted by a number of processes such as: folding, thermoforming and convolute forming.
In the Ad-Air Technology, a roll of solid plastic is prepared for saturation by layering it with a porous material. The roll is then pressurized with a gas such as food grade CO2. The interleaved porous material provides a pathway for the gas to saturate the polymer roll. Once saturated, the polymer is removed from the vessel and heated. As the polymer softens, billions of gas bubbles nucleate in the polymer, reducing the density and causing expansion. In general, this process increases the length and width by 150% and the thickness by about 200%. This expansion results in a dramatic decrease in density, typically to about 20% density relative to the original polymer material.
Ad-air technology applies to most common thermoplastic polymers, including recycled PET (rPET) and biopolymers (PLA).
Ad-air technology can create open-celled materials. These open cells are dispersed throughout the surface of the sheet or in pre-defined patterns, creating channels through which liquid can flow if desired.
Jewel-like Brilliance in Injection Moulded Cosmetics Jar
Using insert injection moulding, Amore Pacific from Korea achieved a new level of design innovation with its Sulwhasoo Dahamsul cream jar. This process removed the gap between the inner cup and the outside packaging, eliminating light refraction that would diminish the appearance of the inner graphics.
The outside packaging easily adheres to the inner cup with DuPont Surlyn 3D overmoulding technology, offering transparency and additional aesthetic appeal. The brilliance of the inner cup graphics shine out, giving the cream jars a jewel-like appearance.
Surlyn is a commercial thermoplastic ionomer resin that was introduced by DuPont in the early 1960’s. Surlyn can be used in conventional extrusion/co-extrusion, blown film, cast film, and extrusion coating equipment designed for polyethylene resins.
Moulded goods made with Surlyn are virtually unbreakable, and offer unusual design freedom, combining toughness, clarity and chemical resistance. Thanks to a direct removal of this fully massive, isomorphic, and smooth piece from the mould, no mould parting line is visible, leaving the transparency of the cap perfect. The glass-clear appearance of Surlyn makes it the perfect complicated partner of fine glass and crystal.
It is one of the materials most favoured by designers, for complicated and bold designs.
Tide PODS Liquid Unit Dose Laundry Detergent
This new, brightly coloured liquid unit dose product, developed by Procter & Gamble, is the first three-chamber unit dose in this category, offering an ultra-convenient, 3-in-1 laundry detergent. The unit dose detergent features three chambers especially designed to brighten, fight stains and clean. Tide Pods also feature a film, from MonoSol, that dissolves and works effectively in all water temperatures.
Tide PODS eliminates spills and the need to measure and pour liquid detergents. The pre-measured unit dose pack uses a specially-developed film that dissolves completely in the wash, even in cold water, enabling consumers to reduce energy use by washing more loads in cold water. Tide PODS tubs, made of 25% recycled PET, and the stand-up bags, reduce plastics use by 50% per load and total packaging material use by 11% per load compared to liquid laundry detergent bottles.
Procter & Gamble warned the consumer that, as with all laundry products, Tide Pods packages should be kept closed and stored out of reach from children and away from pets and food. However it seems that this warning didn’t work quite well.
This week P&G announced that it is adding a child-resistant closure to Tide Pods packaging to deter children from eating the brightly coloured packets that look like candy. The company says that it plans to create a new double latch lid on tubs of Tide Pods “in the next couple of weeks”, as nearly 250 cases have been reported to poison control centres. No deaths have been reported.
That was my selection of the winners of the DuPont Packaging Awards 2012.