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Aaron Industries: Recycled PP

Aaron Industries launched JET- FLO Polypro, a high melt flow recycled PP compound featuring DeltaMax performance modifier from Milliken & Co.

JET- FLO Polypro
JET- FLO Polypro

It is among the first recycled PP materials to combine two properties that are normally mutually exclusive: extremely high melt flow index (MFI of 50-70 g/10 min.) and good impact performance (Notched Izod of 1.5-2.0).

High MFI and good impact strength make JET-FLO Polypro an excellent choice for economical, highly durable thin-wall parts, such as housewares. By adding significant value to recycled PP, Aaron Industries is helping to encourage broader use of sustainable alternatives to virgin PP resin.

“Our new JET-FLO PP is a major step forward toward expanding the use of recycled plastics,” said Robert M. Tocci, vice president of Aaron Industries Corp. “Manufacturers no longer have to sacrifice impact performance to achieve the high melt flow, which is essential for thin-wall molding and faster throughput. Our collaboration with Milliken to leverage DeltaMax technology has been a great success. Milliken is one of the few suppliers with the knowledge, enthusiasm and technical resources we needed to help us develop this new compound and drive true innovation in the recycling industry.”

Aaron Industries and Milliken finalized the development of the JET-FLO compound in just seven months. The product, which is regionally available in eastern parts of the United States and Canada, is supplied as pellets in black and gray colors.

Extending Performance and Processability of Recycled PP

Although many manufacturers want to incorporate recycled PP into their applications to increase sustainability and reduce costs, they may face challenges in sourcing materials with the needed properties. This is particularly true when molding thin-wall parts requiring good impact resistance. A key issue facing recyclers is the large proportion of recycled content that comes from single-use applications like packaging. These material streams may lack the more-robust physical properties required for typical recycled PP applications like durable goods. Recyclers must also contend with variability in their feedstocks.

Historically, Aaron Industries used peroxide to increase the MFI of its recycled PP. However, peroxide reduces impact strength. Seeking a better solution, the company worked with Milliken to leverage its DeltaMax Performance Modifiers, which can increase MFI by as much as five times while maintaining impact strength. The DeltaMax technology enables recycled PP to deliver equal or better performance and processability compared to virgin resins.

Supporting Sustainability

Through performance enhancements to recycled PP, the new JET-FLO Polypro makes several contributions to the plastics industry’s sustainability efforts. First, it allows manufacturers to replace or supplement virgin PP with recycled content that has similar melt flow and impact strength. Substituting recycled PP reduces the energy use, emissions and raw material consumption associated with producing new PP. Greater use of recycled PP also diverts waste plastic from landfills and extends the short lifespan of single-use applications through reuse in durable goods such as totes and storage containers. A higher MFI enables manufacturing at lower temperatures, which uses less energy and results in higher throughput due to shorter cycle times.

In addition to its environmental benefits, JET-FLO Polypro opens the door to new application opportunities, including new parts with more-complex designs and thinner-wall geometries, such as DVD cases, caps and closures, etc. From a processing standpoint, faster cycle times help avoid molded-in stress that can cause warpage.

“Our partnership with the Aaron Industries team is helping to elevate the value, performance and desirability of recycled PP resins,” said Emily Blair, business development manager, Milliken. “Advanced additives like our DeltaMax technology can play an increasingly important role in solving the enormous challenge of plastic waste. Enhancing PP with DeltaMax can drive greater demand for recycled resins, extending plastics’ useful life and strengthening the circular economy.”

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