Thursday 19th October 2017
Over the last few years TEQ (Thermoform Engineered Quality) has devised new solutions aimed at reducing sterile packaging costs as well as environmental impacts. It’s newest option—TEQpropylene—builds upon such efforts.
TEQ’s “monopolymer” sterile barrier system, TEQethylene (TEQe), gave MDMs the option of using a tray made of a proprietary HDPE along with adhesive-coated Tyvek for a package that is “more easily recycled,” TEQ told PMP News in 2012.
A couple years later the company introduced a coextruded polymer for trays called TEQconnex (TEQx) that can be heat sealed to uncoated Tyvek lidding. TEQconnex consists of HDPE coextruded with a thin layer of a proprietary polyethylene that can seal directly to the uncoated Tyvek, rather than requiring a traditional adhesive coating on the lidding, Todd McDonald, director of sales and marketing for TEQ, told PMP News.
TEQ is now introducing TEQpropylene (TEQp) consisting of polypropylene. “Customers appreciated the dramatic cost savings, performance, [lack of] silicone, and recyclability of the TEQe but wanted something more clear,” McDonald says. “Our TEQp materials have most all the same benefits of TEQe with the addition of clarity.”
And the new TEQconnex verion of TEQp—called TEQconnexP or TEQxP—offers a number of benefits. “All of our TEQconnex materials have the ability to seal to uncoated Tyvek. Some customers see adhesive flaking when using coated Tyvek and would not have that issue with TEQconnex. The advantage of TEQxP over TEQxE is again the clarity.” (TEQxE is TEQconnexE, which is the TEQethylene HDPE tray incorporating the TEQconnex layer that can seal to uncoated Tyvek.)
The new polypropylene options could offer sustainability, strength, or clarity improvements as well as help achieve total package cost savings. “When comparing to HIPS and PETG (our typical go-to materials) TEQp and TEQxP are better or comparable in all cases,” says McDonald. “TEQe and TEQxE cannot match up to PETG in clarity, but are better than HIPS.”
TEQ has reported previously that TEQconnex helps avoid adhesive transfer, and the new TEQxP reportedly could help, too. “Pressures used in the EtO sterilization process can cause the adhesive to flake into the package,” he explains. “Some customers have gone to zone coating the Tyvek to solve potential issues. With TEQconnex material, the adhesive component is in the thermoform tray and [so there is] no need to zone coat your lidding.”
When asked whether there are any changes to the heat sealing process windows of temperature, dwell time, or pressure, McDonald says that “we are finding the need to increase the seal temperatures for PP versions, but [they are] well with-in standard machine capabilities.”