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Monolayers Challenge Multilayers for New PET Packaging Applications

SpecialChem / Jul 11, 2006

Despite the widespread success of PET in bottles for soft drinks and water, PET has made slow progress in containers for highly oxygen-sensitive products such as beer, fruit juices or iced tea. The main reason is that bottles made solely of PET have inadequate gas barrier properties to keep out harmful agents of spoilage (principally oxygen) and to keep in desirable gases (such as the carbon dioxide in beer) for the extended periods that these products must remain on shelves. The most common solution to this problem has been the use of multilayer PET bottles containing barrier layers such as EVOH, nylon, oxygen scavengers, or some combination of these features.While multilayer technology is still the most common method of extending the barrier properties of PET, this approach is not without drawbacks. Coextruded multilayer bottles are more expensive to manufacture than monolayer containers. The dissimilar polymers in multilayer bottles make recycling more difficult. Care must also be taken to shield the high-barrier inner layers, which are not always suitable for food contact.

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