US-based Dow and Menshen, a manufacturer of caps, closures and single-serve capsules, have launched reverse spout sealing technology to manufacture mono-material spouted pouches that are designed for recyclability and help advance plastic circularity goals.

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Image: The new sealing technology enables manufacturing of mono-material spouted pouches. Photo: courtesy of Dow.

The reverse spout sealing technology, which is the result of a three-year joint development between Dow and Menshen, enables production of spouted pouches made of mono-material films.

Suitable for most pouch sizes and for a wide range of applications, the technology allows converters to address the recycling criteria for flexible packaging, while helping brands meet their sustainability packaging goals.

Dow’s packaging and specialty plastics business global application technology leader Dr Peter Sandkuehler said: “We basically reversed the idea of where and when the heat needs to be applied during the spout sealing process.

“By transferring the heat from the pre-melted spout base directly to the sealant layer of the film, we’ve solved two challenges at the same time: how to easily seal spouts to mono-material films, and how to prevent the hard spout ribs from cutting into the film.”

To put the new sealing approach into practice, Dow and Menshen are working with a number of partners on technology integration. They are also working with manufacturers of pouch-packaging machines to commercialise the technology.

Menshen business development officer Sarah De La Mare said: “It is actually more logical to apply the heat from the inside rather than from the outside, whether you use mono-materials or not.

“We are currently working with several machine manufacturers to ensure that this technology can be integrated into new and existing spouted pouch making lines.”

Unlike the traditional way of applying the heat from outside the pouch forming film to melt the seal layer and the spout, the new technology allows to easily seal spouts in more heat-sensitive, mono-material structures made from all polypropylene or all polyethylene packaging layers.

Dow said that it has tested the reverse spout sealing technology at its Pack Studios in Horgen, Switzerland, with Menshen spouts sealed in mono or laminate film structures containing Dow solutions.