Dow Plastics reports “major breakthroughs” in achieving higher melt strength and improved drawability compared with conventional PP for its Inspire family of performance polymers for the flexible packaging market.

Speaking at a recent conference in Zürich, Mark Murphy, Dow Europe’s senior development manager of polyolefins and elastomers, reported on the progress to date and potential for Inspire, particularly for applications in blown films.

Fabricators are seeing processability gains of up to 40 per cent, he said, as well as improvements in extruder output, with good bubble stability compared with conventional fractional melt flow impact copolymers.

Dow has also proved superior results by blending the Inspire polymers with Elite Enhanced PE resins to increase the potential for significant downgauging in a range of applications.

“Film converters are already benefiting from the results of using Inspire, and major end users have started specifying it, he confirmed. “There are many further opportunities to explore, particularly in areas previously unavailable to polypropylene films.”

In Europe, Inspire products have reached commercialization in down-gauged flexible laminate pouches for detergent packaging. Dow also sees retortable food pouch laminates as a potential opportunity for Inspire blown films.

The company has raised the price in Europe for all its PE and PP resins – including Inspire – by €100/t above December levels.

More information from Shanna Wagner, Polyolefins & Elastomers, Dow Europe – TEL: +41 1 728 2082. EMAIL: