An additive designed to help PET packaging manufacturers accelerate production while maintaining a high level of light barrier protection has been introduced by Holland Colours.

Described as an answer to one of the biggest challenges faced by PET packaging manufacturers, Holcomer Thermostretch is said to offer significantly higher opacity and much improved heat absorbance at a dosing level 40 per cent less than that of traditional alternatives.

With more brands using PET to create attractive packaging for light-sensitive products, Holland Colours said the challenge was to provide a great light barrier solution while maintaining production speeds.

Creating an effective UV barrier (blocking 99 per cent or more) involves adding a high dose of light barrier concentrate to the PET resin, the company explained. A side-effect of traditional additives has been a limit in the preform’s ability to quickly absorb the heat energy that is needed to blow the bottle, it added. Up until now, the solution has been to ease back on the production speed to compensate.

However, the beneficial properties of the Holcomer Thermostretch means the production speed restrictions are lifted to levels that are close to blowing uncoloured preforms, Holland Colours said.

The result, it claimed, is an increase in blowing output of up to 25 per cent and a scrap rate at the same level typically seen with uncoloured preforms.

In addition, producers can choose from a broader range of existing preform and bottle moulds rather than having to make substantial investments in adaptations or new ones. This can also provide very significant cost savings, the company argued.

More information from Holland Colours, Halvemaanweg 1, 7323 RW Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. Tel: 31 55 368 07 00. Email: Web: