​​




Request ID:  TIM

Request Title:  Thinwall Injection Molding

Submitting Organization:  P&G

Response Deadline:  December 15, 2017

For Questions about Request:  Send e-mail to Collaborations@TCC-Houston.org


BACKGROUND:
We are seeking to reduce resin cost for a high volume, thin wall [<1mm] package component, which today is made via high speed injection molding of 100% petrol based low density polyethylene [LDPE] resin. Some key material properties of today’s typical LDPE homopolymer are: flexibility, warp resistance, melt index 20-30g/10min [ASTM D1238], tensile strength at yield 10-15 MPa, Shore D hardness 50-55, density 0.9g/cm3. As for material cost reference, North America market LDPE resin pricing is about $1.65/kg [$0.75/lb] and subject to oil pricing fluctuations.


WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR:

  • Cost effective, commercial ready material replacement to LDPE that can run in existing injection molds or low cost fillers that can be added to LDPE as blend to yield savings in the molded part. For example, polypropylene [PP] may be lower cost and would be of interest if it can meet our material property requirements (specified above) and is compatible with the existing injection molds.
  • Low cost fillers are also a very interesting possibility provided they have been established to be compatible with high speed injection molding process without the abrasion seen with some materials like calcium carbonate.
  • Material with lesser environmental footprint, so more sustainable.
  • Material with supply base in North America and Europe.


MATERIAL REQUIREMENTS:

  1. In general, the material must:
    • be safe for human contact
    • be stable, so not subject to water permeation, microbial contamination, or absorption
    • have ability to blend with masterbatch [colorant] for different effects
    • not change significantly the mechanical or part surface properties [gloss and/or matte]
    • ideally have IP protection or exclusivity, though at minimum have no restrictions for use
  2. Molding/Dimension/Shrinkage Control
    • Can survive injection molding process, where temperatures can exceed 230oC.
    • Have similar dimensional stability and shrinkage as LDPE.
    • Can run in thin wall part, typical 0.5-1.0mm wall thickness.
    • Maintain the key moldability properties comparable to LDPE as specified in the introduction above, particularly the tensile, hardness and melt index properties.
    • Fillers must be proven to work in an injection molding process without mold abrasion.
  3. Cost:
    • For direct replacement the new material should be <$1.50/kg.
    • For fillers, please consider density and maximum percent for best cost.


​WHAT WE ARE NOT LOOKING FOR ARE MATERIALS THAT:

  • have not been commercialized in injection molding
  • are not expected to have minimum safety [i.e. FDA] approval in < 2 years
  • are harmful to injection molds
  • are technologies/innovations w/o IP protection or freedom to use
  • approaches to reduce resin use by reductions in wall thickness as that would necessitate injection mold changes


Please note that only non-confidentialinformation describing the design and IP can be accepted for review at this stage.


Open Request - TIM - Thinwall Injection Molding