The findings of an independent laboratory testing of ‘PERFORMANCE PA SC15’ technology show that has limited compatibility with polyethylene (PE) flexibles recycling stream. The analysis was carried out according to the RecyClass Recyclability Evaluation Protocol for PE films and performed by the AIMPLAS technology centre. It is crucial to specify that this approval, is limited only to a certain type of PA copolymer and, therefore, cannot be extended to the whole family of polyamides.
UBE technology is an unprinted LDPE-based multilayer film with barrier properties provided by a polyamide (PA) inner layer. The compatibility of the structure is ensured with LLDPE-based tie layers grafted with maleic anhydride (MAH).
The results obtained from the testing demonstrate that UBE ‘PERFORMANCE PA SC15’ technology have limited compatibility with the existing European industrial recycling processes for PE flexibles, given specific conditions. One of the key requirements is the melting temperature of the PA 6/6.6 copolymer barrier, which must not be higher than 192ºC. Additionally, the technology in question must have specific tensile modulus and elongation properties and the PA layer can represent a maximum of 15% of the total weight of the film. Furthermore, a minimum of 10% by weight of LLDPE-based tie layers grafted with at least 0.06% MAH needs to be incorporated into the structure.
The laboratory findings demonstrate that the plastic generated from the recycling process of the ‘PERFORMANCE PA SC15’ technology may be used in high-quality applications such as PE blown films with up to 25% of the content.
With the testing of a multilayer film with a polyamide-based barrier, RecyClass demonstrates yet again that scientific testing is a necessity to evaluate the level of recyclability of a new technology put on the market, providing reliable and transparent findings.
 UBE NYLON 5034B; PA 6/6.6 copolymer composing the structure at 15%wt is characterized by a low melting point and low stiffness.
 Under the condition that it is presumed that the market penetration of packages with this technology does not exceed a maximum of 10% of the whole European LDPE film market share.
RecyClass is a comprehensive cross-industry initiative that works to advance plastic packaging recyclability and to establish a harmonized approach towards recycled content calculation and its traceability in Europe. Activities within RecyClass include the development of Recyclability Evaluation Protocols and scientific testing of innovative materials which serve as the base for the Design for Recycling guidelines and the free online tool. RecyClass offers Recyclability Certifications and Recycled Content Traceability Certification for plastic packaging.
UBE Corporation Europe S.A. Unipersonal (www.ube.es) is the wholly owned subsidiary of UBE Industries, Ltd. for EMEA and the Americas. Headquartered in Castellon (Spain), it manufactures and distributes caprolactam, polyamides, fertilizers and fine chemical products. The drive for product and manufacturing technology innovation and a commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility are key management principles of the company.