The first metallised biodegradable film suitable for both industrial and home composting has been introduced by Innovia Films.
NatureFlex NM is a unique cellulose-based film, manufactured from renewable wood pulp and metallised in-house.
It has been tested to, and passed, the strict protocols of EN13432 and ASTM D6400 and has also been tested for ambient compostability, which means it will also be suitable for home composting.
NatureFlex NM is the only metallised biodegradable film suitable for home composting because the level of metal is so small - less than 0.02% – which slows the film’s degradation by a matter of days but does not interfere with its biodegradability in any other way.
Substantial development work by Innovia Films, which has one of the largest R&D facilities in the packaging films sector, means NatureFlex NM is one of the highest performing metallised bio-polymers on the market.
Modified coatings ensure excellent metal lay-down and adhesion providing a very high moisture barrier with a transmission rate of less than 10 tropical (30degC, 90% RH).
The film is printable using both solvent, water-based and UV inks and has an excellent lustre and sheen for pack presentation.
Innovia Films is anticipating especially strong demand for this new film from the confectionery packing sector. NatureFlex NM builds on the long-standing performance of cellulose film with excellent deadfold for twist wrap, overcoming the various issues commonly associated with polymeric films.
The film is also static-free regardless of climatic conditions, contact with machinery or sugar dust. Not only does this mean that no static reduction equipment is required on line but it also prevents wrapped sweets clinging to one another and to conveyor systems which can often lead to unwrapped sweets.
This anti-static performance combined with the inherent stiffness of the film also gives enhanced "bag-fill" as sweets do not slump to the bottom of a bag.
The film’s slip characteristics have been formulated with twist wrap applications in mind. The non-migratory system ensures consistent levels of slip regardless of storage times.
In trials, NatureFlex NM has been run on a comprehensive range of twist machines, old and new, and given exceptional performance each time.
It has also been tested on a wide range of sweet shapes, including those with sharp edges and has been proven not to puncture or tear.
Says Innovia Films Market Development Manager for Sustainable Technologies, Andy Sweetman: "Generally speaking, no machine modifications are required to run NatureFlex NM. Indeed, the outstanding performance of this film for twist wrap offers the opportunity to reduce the number of twist-head turns if a machine has previously been adapted to run polymeric substrates. This can increase line speeds with no loss of performance."
NatureFlex films are stiffer and more oriented than many bio-polymers currently on the market which makes them ideal for use in standard flow-wrap and form-fill-seal equipment as well as for twist wrapping.