Keiryo Packaging know-how for plastic processing integrates molecular buying into the polymer soften, triggering “flow-improved morphological changes” in the polymer mass with the goal of maximizing product performance. The organization says that this ‘KP Technology’ is applicable across various conversion technologies and for each amorphous and semi-crystalline polymers applied in concluded plastic content articles.
We asked the company’s co-founder and member of the board Tangui Van der Elst and Dr Edyta Niemczyk (PhD), engineering group guide, about the details at the rear of the know-how, how it aims to improve the high quality of packaging, and the success of its the latest trials with free of charge blow PET bottles.
To start off with, could you summarise what you do in a few sentences?
Tangui Van der Elst: Our mission is to boost the overall performance of plastic products by just altering their morphology all through the processing section, with no incorporating any additives. By obtaining this the Keiryo technological innovation minimizes both equally the environmental footprint and manufacturing cost of polymer-primarily based packaging content articles.
Keiryo, which means ’less weight’, is the main thought at the rear of what the patented Keiryo Packaging Technological know-how provides. Primarily based on polymer science, the KP Technology triggers a phenomenon identified as Circulation-Increased Nucleation and Induced Crystallisation (FENIC). FENIC utilises flow as a driving vehicle for the creation of requested entities (that can be crystals). In switch, these purchased entities considerably boost the all round content operation, barrier for example. As a outcome, a lot less product is demanded to present a comparable performance to the plastic article.
The KP Technology is relevant across various processing technologies: (ISBM) [Injection Stretch Blow Moulding] immediate injection extrusion for semi-crystallines (these kinds of as PET and PP) polymers which are used in completed plastic articles or blog posts. The technological innovation can be applied to virgin, recycled, or combined product derived from bio or fossil resources.
To be actually impactful any technological innovation requires to be scalable. Our qualifications in the FMCG business taught us that the greatest way to access scale was to leverage current infrastructure and keep away from incorporating complexity. We reach this by possessing a technological innovation that can be retrofitted into current equipment like a spare element and that focuses on material performance.
You say that your engineering allows to generate plastic packaging working with considerably less product, much more recycled material, and much better barrier general performance. How is this achieved?
Dr Edyta Niemczyk: The functionality of polymers is outlined by their morphology – its altering can unlock supplemental functionalities of the closing content. The skill to improve its morphology of any semi-crystallisable polymer (virgin, recycled or composition thereof derived from bio or fossil resources), is probable when utilising the beforehand talked about phenomenon called FENIC.
This phenomenon describes a shift of the morphological equilibrium from amorphous to the ordered entities (nuclei and/or crystals) by leveraging present flow. Larger amount of order of the molecules can be beneficial for barrier programs – the purchased morphologies can act as an obstacle that delays the gasses permeation.
You have formulated a 3D printed insert included to the current injection course of action. How does this affect the top quality of the packaging currently being generated?
Dr Niemczyk: Changes in the morphology are realised by way of a designed mix of shear-dependent and extensional-based forces. [Explanation provided by Van der Elst: take the example of a rubber band. If you stretch a rubber band extensional forces imply its elongation. On the contrary, if you laid the rubber band on a flat surface and slid your hand over it, the shearing forces would entail its shape change.
During the flow of the molten polymer, in the injection moulding or extrusion process, both of those forces are present. Shear forces are maximised at the wall and minimised in the center of the polymer flow. Extensional forces are maximised in the center of the polymer flow and are minimised at the wall.]
All of those forces are current in the processing machinery, when the polymeric circulation is existing (ISBM, immediate injection, extrusion) – what the KP engineering does is amplify those people forces.
It is significant to mention that said amplification of the shear-centered and extensional-based mostly forces does not damage the material nor direct to its degradation.
To optimally leverage the flow, our know-how combines a software and a components element. The preliminary magic takes place at the computer software degree. Keiryo designed a modelling device defining the deformational flows that influence the morphology of the polymer. Dependent on this details, we structure the 3D printed insert – the actual physical part of our technological innovation, that is retrofitted on regular injection machinery.
The inside of the insert is made of microchannels producing a perfectly-described friction when the polymer passes by means of the scorching runner into the preform mould. This generates morphological alterations in the polymer that boost its general performance.
On your site, you point out molecular dynamics and deformational flow. What does this signify exactly, and how does it relate to packaging?
Dr Niemczyk: Deformation flow is composed out of the shear-primarily based and extensional-dependent forces. It implies an alteration in the buying of the molecules and occurs to the molten polymer in a confined manner in each and every ISBM, direct injection, extrusion procedure.
Based on the toughness of the deformational stream, the molecules can reply accordingly by stretching and forming so-referred to as requested entities (that can be crystals). This response is molecular dynamics.
At the moment in the market, molecular dynamics are not leveraged. However, if intentionally applied higher than the threshold pressure level, move-induced purchased entities are made and continue being secure immediately after the movement has ceased – even at ailments above the equilibrium melt temperature!
At the minute, Keiryo focuses on the Injection Extend Blow Moulding of PET bottles but the fundamental science and the technologies we develop applies alone to distinct polymers, fossil and biobased as very well as distinctive processing tactics.
Extra specifically, your internet site also mentions the use of Movement Increased Nucleation and Induced Crystallisation (FENIC) in your technology. What does this indicate, and how does it operate in apply?
Dr Niemczyk: The blend of molecular dynamics and deformational flows are driving the FENIC phenomenon. The KP program quantifies the deformational stream that needs to be used to shift the balance of the molecular dynamics in the direction of increased purchased entities formation: starting up with the nucleation and the close purpose getting crystallisation.
The crystals formed in this way are distinct from individuals established through quiescent crystallisation. FENIC allows the development of scaled-down and homogeneously unfold entities in the bulk morphologies.
I understand you recently conducted no cost blow trials of PET bottles, with a adjust in overall performance amongst these with Keiryo Packaging Know-how and these with no. Could you inform us far more about this, and what it may signify for future packaging procedures?
Van der Elst: We are running trials in the industrial facility of our technological know-how spouse PDG Plastiques. These trials are accomplished on regular devices applying normal quality resin like these employed to manufacture PET bottles you obtain in your supermarket. The preforms created with Keiryo inserts have a unique morphological composition: they clearly show increased nucleation density.
The bottles designed of these Keiryo inserts dependent preforms are also different. We are continue to in the course of action of completely scoping these differences, but the demonstration that morphological improvements are carried around in the bottle is an significant milestone.
Supplied that these benefits had been reached in an industrial output facility employing common machinery and commercial grade resin, it bodes effectively for the international scalability of Keiryo’s technologies.
Your mission is to enhance materials effectiveness and enhance the economic and environmental sustainability of packaging articles or blog posts. How does your technological know-how help to achieve this aim?
Van der Elst: When we assume of plastic sustainability what springs to thoughts are answers like greater recycling, far more effective squander administration devices and creating new, non-fossil-primarily based resources. Product effectiveness tends to be overlooked whilst it can be an essential contributor to a extra sustainable, circular use of plastics.
With resources efficiency, environmental sustainability and monetary financial savings tend to go hand in hand. Particularly, in our case improving upon plastics’ performance will make it possible for us to use less plastic for every bottle, render PCR plastic additional usable and reduce the use of additives that greatly enhance performance but are more difficult to recycle.
If you search at the added benefits of product reduction, you will observe that they cascade. Very first, if you extract a lot less raw resources, you use fewer power, yielding price tag price savings and reducing CO2 emissions. Next, it will also limit the quantity of squander which influences EPR expenses. Third, if you lower the total of squander made, you also lower the volume of waste leakage in nature.
These added benefits increase with the adoption fee. That is why it is significant to have a alternative which is easily scalable, which is the scenario with Keiryo.
What objectives would you like to see the enterprise achieve in foreseeable future?
Van der Elst: Today our concentration is on establishing our solution for PET ISBM, but we know that it can be used to other polymers and production procedures. For PET ISBM apps we have signed pre-commercial agreements with significant FMCGs and are searching to replicate this design with some others.
The initially ways towards branching out into polyolefins are nicely beneath way. We have also had a number of discussions with producers of biomaterials who see our technological innovation as a usually means to tackle purposeful general performance problems.
Since our technologies is inherently highly scalable, it can be a large contributor to a environment with more sustainable packaging.
Keiryo Packaging was a finalist in our Sustainability Awards 2022 with its polymer processing know-how. This year’s Sustainability Awards winners will be declared at the Sustainable Packaging Summit in Amsterdam in November, and you can uncover out far more in this article.