Film properties benefit Sengewald in Germany

Appearance, tear resistance, and peel properties are key benefits of a top film web used for thermoformed packs of surgical drapes and gowns sold primarily in Europe.

The packager: Sengewald Klinikprodukte GmbH & Co. KG, Rohrdorf, Germany, manufactures surgical drapes and gowns. These sterile medical products are filled and heat-sealed on as many as 10 different thermoform/fill/seal machines.

The challenge: “We had the goal of replacing [a previous top web structure’s special medical] paper,” says Wolfgang Spindler, research and development manager at Sengewald. “We wanted better peel properties, more comfortable handling, and puncture and tear-resistance.”

The solution: Through its partnership with Rollprint Packaging Products and Pactiv’s “sister” company Kobusch-Sengewald, in Germany, Sengewald selected Rollprint’s high-density polyethylene AllegroT coextruded top web. The peelable 3.5-mil coextruded blown film consists of two layers of white HDPE, plus a thin sealant layer that employs a proprietary easy-peel sealant technology.

The benefits: Better peel properties, appearance, handling, and tear resistance; visual confirmation of package seal integrity; eliminated the possibility of paper fiber contamination.

No new machinery was necessary, and now we have a package with only plastic materials, which is an additional benefit,” says Spindler.

Printing advantages: Not only does the new all-film package offer fiber-free peeling and improved durability, the HDPE-AllegroT material is more accommodating to graphics with its smooth, opaque white surface.

"Paper has a rough surface," notes Spindler. "When you print on it, you don’t typically get sharp print edges. Printing on film, however, [with its] brighter surface—[creates] a more brilliant white. The print looks much sharper and we get a ‘cleaner’ impression." He says the film for these medical packs is flexo-printed with a corporate design and user information.

Bottom web benefits: The redesign of the top web meant it was no longer necessary for the bottom web to carry the peel function. That eliminated the multi-step manufacturing of the formable adhesive-laminated nylon film/peelable coextruded sealant film bottom web. For its bottom web,

Sengewald now uses a coextruded nylon/PE forming web from Kobusch-Sengewald that retains the thermoforming and durability characteristics of the previous bottom web. The new bottom web helps achieve cost savings because it can be manufactured in a single step utilizing in-house equipment at Kobusch-Sengewald.

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