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Dokumentenidentifikation EP1674238 10.08.2006
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001674238
Titel Flaschen aus Zusammensetzungen aus Polypropylen und nicht-Sorbitol Keimbildnern
Anmelder Total Petrochemicals Research Feluy, Seneffe, Feluy, BE
Erfinder Smits, Valerie, B-6540, Lobbes, BE;
Humbeeck, Emmanuel, B-7181, Feluy, BE;
Roegiers, Kristien, B-1861, Wolvertem, BE
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, BG, CH, CY, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, HU, IE, IS, IT, LI, LT, LU, MC, NL, PL, PT, RO, SE, SI, SK, TR
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 21.12.2004
EP-Aktenzeichen 041067620
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 28.06.2006
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 10.08.2006
IPC-Hauptklasse B29C 49/06(2006.01)A, F, I, 20060530, B, H, EP
IPC-Nebenklasse C08K 5/00(2006.01)A, L, I, 20060530, B, H, EP   B29C 49/00(2006.01)A, L, I, 20060530, B, H, EP   

Beschreibung[en]

This invention relates to the field of bi-oriented bottles having high transparency and prepared from compositions comprising polypropylene (PP) and inorganic nucleating agents.

Presently, the most common material used in injection-stretch-blow-moulding (ISBM) is polyethylene terephthalate (PET). It has the advantage of achieving very short cycle time of the order of1500 bottles per cavity per hour and it offers the further advantage of having excellent optical properties. It suffers from the considerable disadvantage of being very costly.

Alternatively other thermoplastic materials such as for example polyvinylchloride (PVC), polystyrene, acrylonitrile, polypropylene and acetals could be used. Among those, polypropylene prepared with a Ziegler-Natta catalyst system has been used. In order to obtain the required transparency, these resins are clarified with sorbitols and the injection melt temperature for the production of the pre-form must be very high. That impacts negatively the cycle time and the economics.

There is thus a need to replace the costly PET resins with other resins that will not suffer from the disadvantages of the sorbitol-clarified polypropylene prepared with a Ziegler-Natta catalyst system.

It is an aim of the present invention to provide resins that are processed at a reduced temperature for the production of the pre-form while keeping good transparency of the final bottles.

It is also an aim of the present invention to provide resins that can be processed for pre-form injection with a very short cycle time.

It is another aim of the present invention to provide resins that can be used to prepare pre-forms having excellent optical properties after bi-stretching.

It is further aim of the present invention to provide resins that have a broad processing window in injection-stretch-blow-moulding.

Accordingly, the present invention provides pre-forms and bottles produced by injection-stretch-blow-moulding (ISBM) prepared from a composition comprising polypropylene and an inorganic non-sorbitol nucleating or clarifying agent.

The pre-forms are prepared by injecting the resin at a temperature that is lower than typically used with polypropylene resins. It is at least 10 °C, preferably 20 °C, lower than in the prior art production. Typical pre-form injection temperatures are of from 210 to 235 °C, preferably of from 210 to 220 °C, more preferably of about 215 °C.

The polypropylene used in the present invention may be prepared with a Ziegler-Natta (ZN) or a metallocene catalyst system and it may be a homopolymer or a random copolymer of propylene. Preferably, it has a melt index of from 2 to 100 g/10 min and preferably of from 10 to 20 g/10 min. When it is a copolymer of propylene, the preferred comonomer is ethylene and the amount of ethylene present in the resin is up to 10 wt%, preferably of to 4 wt%.

The melt flow index MFI is measured using the procedures of standard test ISO 1133 at 230 °C for polypropylene resins and under a load of 2.16 kg.

The nucleating agents that can be used at the reduced pre-form injection temperature of the present invention without reducing the optical properties of the finished articles, are selected from sodium salts, lithium benzoate, sodium benzoate, talc, aluminium salts or combinations thereof.

The amount of nucleating agent varies with the nature of the agent: it is of up to 10000 ppm, preferably of up to 2000 ppm.

List of figures.

Figure 1 represents a typical pre-form design.

Figure 2 represents a typical pre-form temperature profile after re-heating for the stretching step.

The injection-stretch-blow-moulding can be carried out either in a two-machine process or in a single machine process. The two-machine process is generally preferred and it is carried out in two separate locations. It comprises the steps of:

  • providing a pre-form by injection moulding on a multi-cavity mould;
  • cooling the pre-form to room temperature;
  • transporting the pre-form to the blow moulding machine;
  • re-heating the pre-form in the blow moulding machine in a reflective radiant heat oven following a pre-determined temperature profile for the pre-form;
  • passing the heated pre-form through an equilibrium zone to allow the heat to disperse evenly through the pre-form wall;
  • stretching the pre-form axially by a centre rod;
  • orienting the stretched pre-form radially by high pressure air.

In this process, the stretching step is the critical step as it requires re-heating of the pre-form: optimisation of the pre-form is thus required. A typical example of pre-form design is displayed in figure 1.

The pre-forms are re-heated in an infra-red oven following a heating profile such as displayed for example in figure 2. Typical re-heating temperatures are of from 90 to 140 °C as shown in figure 2.

In the single-machine process, all steps are carried out in the same machine. The cooling step, the transporting step and the reheating step are thus replaced by a single conditioning step that consists in slightly re-heating the pre-form following the temperature profile required for the stretching step.

The stretching is then carried out under a blowing pressure is of from 10 to 40 bars, preferably of from 12 to 18 bars and most preferably of about 15 bars and with a stretch rod speed of from 1000 to 2000 mm/s, preferably of from 1400 to 1800 mm/s and most preferably of about 1600 mm/s.

The articles prepared according to the present invention are hollow containers and bottles that can be used in various food and non-food applications. The food applications comprise the storage of water, juices, oil, flavoured still and carbonated beverages, isotonic drinks, dry products, fresh milk and solid food. The non-food applications comprise the storage of cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, dishwashing or washing detergent and dry products.

Examples.

Several propylene copolymers were tested. They were all prepared with a Ziegler-Natta catalyst system and their properties and comonomer content are summarised in Table I. They were additivated with a commercial antioxydants and antiacid package and additionally with various inorganic nucleating agents: their nature and amount is also specified in Table I. Resins R1 to R3 were comparative resins, and resin R4 was prepared according to the present invention. <u>TABLE I.</u> Resin R1 R2 R3 R4 MFI (dg/min) 11.4 11 9.4 11 C2 (%) 3.3 3.1 3.8 3.1 nucleating agent none Irgaclear D Millad 3988 Na-21 amount NA (%) 0 2200 1900 1400

The pre-form injection step was carried out on a Arburg press using respectively injection temperatures of 215 °C and 235 °C. The blowing step was carried out on a separate injection-stretch-blow-moulding machine. The re-heating step was performed in an infra-red oven according to the profile dispalyed in figure 2 and the number of bottles produced per hour and per cavity was of 1200. The temperature profile was the same for all the tested pre-forms.

The haze results are displayed in Table II for different pre-form injection temperatures. <u>TABLE II.</u> Preform injection Temperature R1 R2 R3 R4 215°C 15 % 25.6 % 22.1 % 8.1 % 235°C 4.1 % 5.2 % 6.3 % 5.7 %

As can be seen from these results, all nucleating agents performed well and similarly at the pre-form injection temperature of 235 °C and gave excellent haze values. When the pre-form injection temperature was reduced to 215 °C, the haze values became prohibitively high for all the polypropylene resins that were not additivated or that were additivated with sorbitol nucleating agents. The resins according to the present invention kept excellent haze values when the pre-forms were injected at a temperature of 215 °C, thus 20 °C lower than typical temperatures. This resulted in considerable savings in time and energy.


Anspruch[en]
Bottles and pre-forms prepared by injection-stretch-blow-moulding (ISBM) from a composition comprising polypropylene and an inorganic non-sorbitol nucleating or clarifying agent. The bottles and pre-forms of claim 1 wherein the amount of non-sorbitol nucleating or clarifying agent is of up to 10000 ppm. The bottles and pre-forms of claim 2 wherein the amount of non-sorbitol nucleating or clarifying agent is of up to 2000 ppm. The bottles and pre-forms of any one of claims 1 to 3 wherein the non-sorbitol nucleating or clarifying agent is selected from sodium salts, lithium benzoate, sodium benzoate, talc, aluminium salts or combinations thereof. The bottles of any one of the preceding claims wherein the polypropylene is a homo- or a co-polymer of propylene and is prepared with a Ziegler-Natta or a single site catalyst system. The bottles of claim 5 wherein the polypropylene is a copolymer of propylene, wherein the comonomer is ethylene and wherein the amount of comonomer is of up to 10 wt%, based on the weight of the polymer. A process for preparing the bottles and pre-forms of any one of claims 1 to 6 with a two-machine system comprising the steps of: a) providing a composition comprising polypropylene and a non-sorbitol nucleating or clarifying agent; b) preparing a pre-form by injection moulding on a multi-cavity mould at reduced injection temperature; c) cooling the preform at room temperature; d) transporting the preform to the blow-moulding machine; e) re-heating the pre-form in the blow-moulding machine following a pre-determined temperature profile; f) passing the re-heated pre-form through an equilibrium zone; g) stretching the pre-form axially with a centre rod; h) blowing the stretched pre-form radially with high-pressure air; i) retrieving bottles having low haze values. A process for for preparing the bottles and pre-forms of any one of claims 1 to 6 with a one-machine system comprising the steps of: a) providing a composition comprising polypropylene and a non-sorbitol nucleating or clarifying agent; b) preparing a pre-form by injection moulding on a multi-cavity mould at reduced injection temperature; c) conditioning the pre-form in the blow-moulding machine following a pre-determined temperature profile; d) passing the re-heated pre-form through an equilibrium zone; e) stretching the pre-form axially with a centre rod; f) blowing the stretched pre-form radially with high-pressure air; g) retrieving bottles having low haze values. The process of claim 7 or claim 8 wherein the pre-form injection temperature is of from 210 to 220 °C. Use of a composition comprising polypropylene and an inorganic non-sorbitol nucleating or clarifying agent to decrease the pre-form injection temperature while keeping low haze in the preparation of bottles by injection-stretch-blow-moulding.






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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