Extruding Paper, Plastic Style

Technology is ever evolving. These changes apply to the extrusion business as well as any industry that wants to retain their edge. One of the newest developments in the extrusion business is the ability to extrude not just plastics materials, but paper and pulp materials as well. This has added a whole new level of products and options for customers in a wide variety of industries.

Several years ago, a few companies decided that paper and pulp products might work for extrusions. After testing, research and development, new paper bottles and containers are being extruded in much the same way that plastics can be extruded for a wide variety of products.

These new paper-based extrusions are created from clamshells and can be used for milk, detergents, wine and cat litter, to name just a few of the products currently being housed in these new containers. A thin lining of extruded plastics are used to ensure that the container stays sealed. The clamshells are created from a thermoforming process that incorporates paper pulp that is finished with vacuums, heating and additional pressure. The plastic lining provides the sealing while the paper is the support for the container. In order to finish the product, the halves are glued together, incorporating the pulp container and the liner into a single unit.

Why choose the paper extrusions rather than plastics? With the concerns over recyclability and the focus on new “greener” technologies, expanding into the paper bottling business just makes sense. Major companies such as Pepsico, Kao Corporation of Japan – a leading cosmetics and chemical company – and Nestle are all looking at ways of incorporating extruded paper container technology. In addition to being environmentally friendly, the decreased weight of the packaging saves gas and transportation costs.

In the short term, consumers will start to see more products emerge in pulp and paper packaging, including milk, wine, and cat litter all packed in extruded paper products. For more information, contact Extrudex today to talk about your next custom extrusion project.