Perstorp is now introducing Akestra to the European market. Akestra is a unique material that offers a sparkling, glass-like appearance but with much better heat resistance and transparency than PET. It is an amorphous alternative for hot-fill packaging where transparency is important and can be used in many applications where high heat resistance is vital. Akestra can be combined with up to 80% of recycled PET to increase the performance of PET.
"Akestra is a unique family of plastics that will open up a whole new range of applications for polyesters," says product manager David Engberg. "It is an excellent choice for demanding applications like hot-fill and hot food serving. We expect it to be used primarily in disposable packaging."
The material has a high glass transition temperature up to 110°C and a deflection temperature under load which is up to 30°C higher compared to PET. This makes Akestra a high-performing alternative to PET and some other transparent plastics for thin-wall containers, and to polycarbonate for durable transparent products. In some hot-fill food containers, it may also replace glass itself.
"Akestra enables efficient production since the existing PET production line can be used meaning that no major investments are needed. This allows our customers to quite quickly convert to use Akestra and to commercially make use of all its beneficial properties", says Marie Grönborg, EVP Business Area Specialties & Solutions.
The key monomer in Akestra received the positive opinion of EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) in October 2014 and is now also added to the latest update of the European Commission regulation regarding "plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food" (EU) No 10/2011. This means Akestra can now be used for all type of food contact applications, hot as well as cold. It was already compliant for food-contact use in the United States (FDA) and Japan (JHOSPA). Akestra is launched in cooperation with Mitsubishi Gas Chemical (MGC) and brought to Europe by Perstorp.