Tekni-Plex: ALU-LOOK Blister Films

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Tekni-Plex, a globally-integrated company that develops and manufactures innovative packaging materials and precision-crafted tubing solutions, has announced the full commercial availability of ALU-LOOK blister films for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical applications.  A product fully developed by Tekni-Plex, ALU-LOOK (Aluminum Look) blister films represent a versatile, high-speed packaging option for healthcare industry customers when compared to other options such as cold-form foil and aluminum strip packaging.

Even though ALU-LOOK can be used as a mono film with no substantial changes in properties as compared to clear poly-vinyl-chloride (PVC), its primary application is for laminations to PCTFE films (Aclar or VapoShield), giving it superior moisture barrier properties to protect hygroscopic contents. It thus offers all the benefits of conventional PCTFE laminates, like a wide barrier range and the ability to run on standard thermoforming equipment. In addition, it provides protection from UV and visible light; most important, though, it mimics the visual characteristics of cold-form foil - but without the need for cold-form foil’s larger blister formats, expensive tooling and reduced packaging speeds. 

Its metallic look is a nod to consumers, who will be more confident that they are using a high-quality package that ensures shelf-life and protects its contents. 'Perceived value' is key particularly in markets where customers are used to the metallic look of a packaging for a specific active ingredient.

ALU-LOOK is a drop-in solution; it runs smoothly on all standard form-fill-seal blister packaging equipment.  Customers will not have to make any changes to their current processing parameters.  This is equally valid for the lidding foils sealing to the ALU-LOOK films – the forming web accepts all standard lidstocks that seal to PVC.

"We are commercial on several branded and generic Pharmaceutical drug products in South America, North America, and Europe, and see especially high interest from nutraceutical companies packaging probiotics and other moisture-sensitive contents," said David Andrulonis, General Manager of Flexible Packaging for Tekni-Plex.  "When compared with other packaging options such as cold-form, ALU-LOOK provides increased options, because it is available in a broad range of barrier properties, from low/medium to ultra-high when applied to PCTFE laminate options.  The material protects contents from light, and for oxygen sensitive contents, it also can be combined with EVOH", he says. "Customers especially see value in thermoformed ALU-LOOK products versus Cold form Foil in terms of total cost, portability, throughput, material usage, logistics, scrap, to name a few."

Full validation and regulatory clearance
At PurePlast, Tekni-Plex’s Cambridge, Ontario-based subsidiary, the company successfully accomplished full operational validation of ALU-LOOK PVC to prove process stability and material consistency.  The film is pharmaceutical grade PVC with proprietary additives that give it a shiny, smooth foil-like appearance. Like all of PurePlast’s PVC films, the ALU-LOOK films meet all U.S. and European compliance requirements for food and pharmaceutical product contact.

The film is laminated to PCTFE film at Tekni-Plex’s facilities in Somerville, New Jersey, Erembodegem, Belgium, and by contract manufacturers in Buenos Aires, Argentina, rendering it into structures suitable for moisture barrier packaging applications.

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