Types of packaging and its characteristics. How to know which is most appropriate for a product?
It is not possible to understand the quick evolution of plastic materials without associating it with the industrial revolution of the 19th century. A society that demands more and more materials to produce on a large scale causes the need to find substitutes for the natural raw materials used until then, doomed to obtain them through chemical processes in the laboratory.
From 1907, continuous innovations helped to change from natural to synthetic plastics and, from the 1980s onwards, plastic production grew so much that it provided the perfect setting to develop some of the plastics we use most today and their different applications.
The 20th century was a very prolific time for the sector, which laid the foundation for developing this material until reaching plastics such as PET, one of the most used nowadays.
The evolution of plastic, throughout history, has always been driven by the need to replace other materials that were scarcer or whose characteristics were not sufficient for market demands. Its infinite applications, its high strength or the fact that it can be recycled and used repeatedly, have made it the most used material of recent decades by far.
From food packaging, beverages, chemicals and other types, to its application in sectors such as construction, health or transport, plastic has been making its way into an essential material today, and that has made possible great advances in science and technology, among other fields.
Types of plastic packaging
All these changes, throughout history, have resulted in different types of packaging and characteristics to be adapted to very different products from all sectors. Some of the most useful packaging materials today are PET, HDPE, as well as those used in multilayer coextrusion.
The PET container can be semi – rigid or rigid, it is light, resistant to strong impacts. This material acts very well as a barrier to moisture, oxygen and CO2, so it is widely used as a container for beverages, food, medicines, cosmetic products, etc. In addition, PET packaging is recyclable, which also makes them one of the most in-demand types of plastic packaging.
HDPE, on the other hand, is harder, opaque, and resistant to high temperatures. It is the most produced synthetic polymer worldwide, as its characteristics make it perfect for food containers, bottles, plugs, cosmetic packaging, etc., and in addition, it is 100% recyclable, being the key to a circular economy.
Coex Barrier Packaging + Fluorinated Packaging
Multilayer coextrusion is the extrusion of two or more polymers that results in a multilayer structure. This technology combines several materials to produce containers with barrier properties, more resistant than other types of packaging and, therefore, perfect for packing demanding sectors such as chemicals.
Another technology that allows to produce containers with barrier properties is plasma fluorination. Up until now, fluorination was obtained by direct applying fluorine gas. With this technology it is possible to turn an HDPE container into a barrier container, more resistant and 100% recyclable. Nowadays, it is possible to get a fluorination plastic packaging without using fluorine gas. Although not yet widespread, at Alcion Packaging Solutions we are one of the few companies that is ready to incorporate Plasma Fluorination technology into its processing plant, creating packaging that best suits sectors such as agrochemicals, respecting the environment and facilitating recycling.
Both co-extrusion and plasma fluorination packaging far exceeds other types of packaging and its characteristics in sectors where products are aggressive and barrier properties are essential, such as agrochemical or industrial.
How to choose the type of packaging that best suits my product?
All plastic containers must fulfil the bunker function: contain, protect, conserve and transport. But for this function to be fulfilled, it is important to consider how each container reacts to the product it contains and the environmental conditions where it is exposed. It is essential to analyse the interaction “ packaging – product – environment” to make a decision.
The types of packaging and its characteristics are very different. There are 10 questions that you have to ask yourself to choose the packaging that best suits your product.
Factors such as packaging capacity, ergonomics, design, preservation, and safety are decisive when choosing. But the characteristics of the product you want to pack will most condition the choice of the right packaging.
At Alcion Packaging Solutions, we have been producing packaging for 75 years to suit the needs of each of our customers. Approved according to the legislative requirements of each sector. From an economic, design or sustainability point of view, our goal is to get customised packaging for each product.
In addition, we are committed to the environment and ISO 14001 certified, because we are convinced that our products have more than one life, and we want to be part of the circular economy.