Blown film technology for bio materials

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Photo by Bandera Compact SmartFlex line processes biobased plastics such as PLA

When the French law prohibiting the sale and distribution of non-biodegradable-polyethylene-based disposable bags with thicknesses of less than 50 microns entered force in 2016, a French converter decided to switch to producing bags made from renewably-sourced materials.

The project included the purchase of a SmartFlex Bio line from the Italian extrusion expert and manufacturer of blown film lines, Bandera.

The company has a long history of collaboration with suppliers of biobased and compostable materials and has delivered numerous lines and equipment to processers using materials of this kind, specifically starch and polylactic acid (PLA), throughout western Europe.

Although the line has been purpose designed for the production of mainly plant-based biodegradable and compostable bags, it can be used for thermo-shrink, lamination & converting and general packaging film. According to Bandera, its SmartFlex blown film lines are characterized by a competitive investment level, maximized flexibility for different applications and energy efficiency. Cost savings are generated by the modular design of the lines.

Functional and compact, the new bio 3-layer line is equipped with one 65 mm extruder for the core layer, and two 50 mm extruders for outer layers. The line achieves an output of up to 400 kg/h with a die head featuring a 300 mm die; it offers a lay flat width (trimmed) of up to 2200 mm, with thicknesses ranging from 15 to 200 μm.

The new line will be installed in the French region of Rhône-Alpes.

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