Procter & Gamble and PTI Europe Develop ISBM Bottles Using LyondellBasell's Stretchene Resin

13 Jun 2008 • by Natalie Aster

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands -- Global household, beauty and personal care products brand leader Procter & Gamble (P&G), and ISBM packaging consultant PTI Europe have jointly developed a new range of injection stretch blow molded (ISBM) bottles which demonstrate superior performance over traditional materials for P&G's new Ariel Professional brand of laundry bleach. Significant new inroads in polypropylene (PP) performance by polyolefins product and technology leader LyondellBasell Industries, coupled with innovative bottle design by Procter & Gamble and PTI, have made the commercialization possible.

"Our two years of research and development, which combined design innovation, new high performance PP resins and excellent ISBM expertise, have culminated in the development of a new benchmark in household product packaging," said Patrick Etesse, Research Fellow at P&G, Global Packaging & Device Development R&D in Brussels.

Lower density than PET

The 0.5-litre, 1-litre and 2.0-litre bottles were produced using LyondellBasell's new Stretchene PP resins, a new product family that outperforms standard PP and traditional plastics in terms of rigidity, transparency, impact strength and production output.

"Stretchene resins provide an outstanding cost/performance balance, and are an excellent alternative to more traditional materials such as PET and HDPE for ISBM applications," said Etesse.

Stretchene resins enabled the production of colorful, transparent and lightweight bottles with excellent aesthetics, outstanding chemical resistance, good impact resistance, a good water vapour barrier and 34% lower density than PET. Compared to competitive laundry bleach extrusion blow moulded HDPE bottles the new polypropylene line up provided a weight reduction of 15% to 20%. In addition, the bottles are full body shrink sleeved for maximum shelf appeal, therefore a PP was required that was not affected by the shrink tunnel heat. "The Stretchene resins not only help P&G produce bottles that meet their high functionality requirements, but they also address their needs for shelf appeal and a pleasant touch, which are key consumer trends in household products packaging," added Etesse. "The 2.0-litre bottle is probably the largest PP ISBM bottle with a grip ever produced." The new Stretchene resin allowed P&G to produce a bottle with an appealing form and an easy-to-hold grip.

According to Etesse, "The resins take advantage of the high flexibility of the ISBM production process, which enables less downtime for mold changes compared to extrusion blow molding."

"The close cooperation between P&G and LyondellBasell was a critical aspect that enabled the success of this development," said Bernard Lefevre, Resin Purchases EMEA, Global P&G Resin Purchases Organization in Geneva.

Higher degree of design freedom

Stretchene resins also offer an improved degree of design freedom as high definition engraving can be used. The resin also enabled an optimized filling technique, so that the high output capabilities of the ISBM equipment were fully utilized.

PTI Europe studied a specific and common neck finish and developed optimized preforms for all sizes. "We prototyped the bottles with standard "2 stage" blow molding equipment in order to test and qualify the bottles. The bottles have been successfully evaluated following strict P&G testing protocols and specifications," said Vincent le Guen, Managing Director of PTI Europe.

The bottles are molded by Alpla in Italy. "This was a challenging project as we had to meet tight deadlines, but we are now producing in our Italian factory. The Stretchene resin was chosen due to the fact that the resin can be utilized for bleach containing formulations and is as transparent as PET," said Nicolas Lehner of Alpla.

About LyondellBasell

LyondellBasell Industries is one of the world's largest polymers, petrochemicals and fuels companies. We are the global leader in polyolefins technology, production and marketing; a pioneer in propylene oxide and derivatives; and a significant producer of fuels and refined products, including bio-fuels. Through research and development, LyondellBasell develops innovative materials and technologies that deliver exceptional customer value and products that improve quality of life for people around the world. Headquartered in The Netherlands, LyondellBasell is privately owned by Access Industries.

About Procter & Gamble

Three billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world. The company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Pampers®, Ariel®, Always®, Pantene®, Mach3®, Herbal Essences,® Fairy®, Ace®, Lenor®, M. Proper®, Tampax®, Dash®, Pringles®, Oral-B®, Actonel®, Duracell®, Iams® and Eukanuba®, Wella®, Gillette®, and Braun®. The P&G community consists of about 138,000 employees globally working in over 80 countries of which about one quarter work in Western Europe.

About PTI Europe

Plastic Technologies, Inc. & its European subsidiary PTI-Europe are specialized in high performance packaging for the beverage, food, household product and health care industries. PTI designs, prototypes and tests entire packaging systems, including containers, closures, and secondary packaging components.

About Alpla

Alpla is one of the biggest packaging companies worldwide with 10000 employees in 119 plants across 34 countries. As the international technology leader in the field of plastic packaging, we provide our clients with innovative, top quality products. Our expertise, consistent research and development and state-of-the-art production technologies in close cooperation with our clients form the three decisive factors for our mutual success.

Source: LyondellBasell