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Posted: Oct 31, 2011
RUSNANO and UralPlastic-N Launched a Factory for Production of Flexible Polymer Packaging, Modified With Nanocomposites
(Nanowerk News) The factory that will produce flexible polymer packaging modified with nanocomposites was launched during the session of the President's Commission for Modernization and Technological Development that took place at the IV Nanotechnology International Forum. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, RUSNANO Chairman of the Board Anatoly Chubais and Alexey Goncharov, Director of UralPlastic-N, participated in the factory's opening ceremony via Teleconference.
The project's total budget is 2,550 million rubles; RUSNANO and CJSC UralPlastic both acted as investors. The new plant's capacity is 1,800 tons of flexible packaging per month, which is equal to about 650 million pieces of finished products.
The produced packaging will be mostly used for dairy products, meat, fish, infant nutrition and a wide range of other food and non-food products.
Modification of the film material with nanocomposites makes it possible to significantly increase the shelf life of packed products. For example, it is possible to preserve ready to eat dishes (first and second course etc.) for up to 5 years without the use of preservatives, while traditional barrier packaging with a foil layer provides shelf life of 6 to 24 months. Furthermore, it is possible to reheat food in a microwave oven without removing packaging, thanks to the fact that no foil layers were used in its production. Also, traditional composite packaging, which contains several different materials, is often unsuitable for reprocessing due to the complexity and high cost of recycling of such materials while, the new facility's products are fully recyclable.
This new film significantly improves physical and mechanical characteristics of the packaging, in particular its resistance to damage from stretching, piercing or other impacts. At the same time, the application of nanocomposites makes it possible to reduce total number of layers in the packaging, and, therefore, its thickness and weight.
As part of this project, CJSC UralPlastic-N applied three vital pieces of know-how:
production of nanocomposites, their introduction into the ingredients of the film and
production of film modified with nanocomposites.
This new manufacturing facility contains unique equipment for production of nanocomposites — the only 10 layer extrusion line in Russia, which makes it possible to produce highly hermetic film, together with a raw materials batching system which is unmatched in Russia. The transfer of raw materials into the extruder is fully automated. The total length of the pneumatic transfer system along which all production components pass exceeds 10000 meters.
Today, all highly hermetic polymer packaging with the gas and vapor permeability characteristics required for maintaining the freshness of food products, as well as the required physical/mechanical and optical characteristics, is imported to Russia from Europe. The application of new technology will make it possible to produce domestic highly hermetic packaging highly competitive with foreign products.