GAP has just completed a new 27 layer Blown Film Line in their new Research & Development centre in Trecate, an high-tech line of 27-layer bubble films with unlimited possibilities of film structure that use the microlayer technology to allows an overlap and alternate layers of different materials to improve the mechanical characteristics of extruded films and reduce their thickness.
The blown film line is made up of 9 extruders and a 27 layers Coex, die diameter is 400mm and the width of the machine is 1600 mm. This line also has an automatic air-cooling ring control and all new software control systems, some of them comes from the experiences gained on our complex triple bubble line. The line offers the possibility to use multiple combinations of materials to create different structures of coextruded films.
Moving forward GAP’s strategy to reduce film thickness
GAP has already tested several structures on the new 27-layer microlayer line, both with blocks and alternating layers. We have achieved very comforting results in terms of mechanical performance of the film that leads to a significant reduction in thickness. In fact this line has been studied to reduce film thickness by increasing the number of layers. Thanks to the laminar flow structure GAP has been able to generate better mechanical performances and lower thicknesses of material. Mechanical tests have shown a reduction of around 20 to 25% of the original thickness. Today, due to plastic tax and recyclable issues, it’s more important to reduce thickness and keep the mechanical characteristics, saving not only the tax, but also resin costs as well. One of the first objectives of microlayers technology is definitely to increase the saving of raw materials, GAP will soon test structures with multiple alternate zones.
The line is now in operation and It will be viewable in the center GAP R&D through a reservation. The structure and skills of GAP employees will be available to customers to create their own film, depending on the field of application will be studied the structure best suited to its purpose, to offer the best possible result.