ExxonMobil has revealed a new foamable polypropylene product, Achieve Advanced PP6302E1, as a solution for high volume applications, including food and beverage packaging, industrial packaging, building products, and automotive parts.

This new high melt strength (HMS) grade apparently improves product stiffness by up to 30%, compared with standard HMS PP foam, for what the company describes as “significant cost reduction opportunities.”

“Historically, foam applications have been dominated by amorphous polymers such as PS, PU and PVC. Foamed PP is a relatively recent advancement having been introduced only about 20 years ago, but it never gained much commercial traction,” says Olivier Lorge, global market development manager for ExxonMobil’s polypropylene, vistamaxx and adhesions business.

“Customers can now challenge reality and rethink what’s possible for lightweight foamed PP parts in high volume applications because of the value-in-use delivered by our new Achieve Advanced PP6302E1. The commercial potential of foamable PP can now be pursued and fully realized.”

The company is marketing its new product as a viable alternative to PS foam, PFAs, and VOCs and monomer concerns (prop 65) which it says are being increasingly regulated.

Regarding its potential benefits, ExxonMobil says that the solution can eliminate trade-offs and set new standards for sustainable foamed PP parts by delivering value-in-use in a number of ways. It is processable on existing PS foam lines with varied blowing agents, reportedly reduces material use while delivering product integrity, and is recyclable in those communities where appropriate collection and recycling facilities exist.

“Converters, brand owners, and OEMs can unlock opportunities in a range of applications that benefit from lightweighting and insulation while leveraging PP properties,” Lorge concludes.