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What is the difference between Bopp and PP film?

by:Gangyuan      2023-07-20

What is the difference between Bopp and PP film?

In the world of packaging, Bopp (biaxial-oriented polypropylene) and PP (polypropylene) films are widely used for various applications. These two types of films have distinct characteristics that make them suitable for specific packaging needs. While they share the same polypropylene base, they differ in their manufacturing process and properties. This article explores the differences between Bopp and PP films and their applications in the packaging industry.

I. Manufacturing Process

Both Bopp and PP films are made from polypropylene, a thermoplastic polymer derived from propylene monomers. However, the manufacturing processes for these films are different.

Bopp film is produced by a biaxial orientation process, wherein the polymer is stretched simultaneously in both the machine and transverse directions. This stretching process aligns the polymer molecules, resulting in a film with superior tensile strength and dimensional stability. Additionally, biaxial orientation enhances the clarity and glossiness of Bopp film.

On the other hand, PP film is typically manufactured using a cast extrusion process. In this method, the molten polypropylene is extruded onto a chilled roller, forming a continuous sheet. The film is then stretched uniaxially or biaxially to achieve the desired properties. Compared to Bopp film, PP film produced through cast extrusion has higher transparency and better printability.

II. Physical Properties

When it comes to physical properties, Bopp and PP films display some variations.

Bopp film has excellent stiffness and tensile strength, making it ideal for packaging applications that require high structural integrity. It also has good resistance to moisture, chemicals, and UV radiation. Furthermore, Bopp film can be easily heat-sealed, allowing for effective product protection.

PP film, on the other hand, exhibits better flexibility and elongation properties than Bopp film. This characteristic makes PP film more suitable for applications where a higher degree of elongation is required, such as in overwraps for bulky items. Additionally, PP film has good resistance to impact, making it less prone to breakage or tearing.

III. Optical Properties

Another aspect that sets Bopp and PP films apart is their optical properties.

Bopp film inherently possesses high clarity and glossiness. The biaxial orientation process ensures that the film has a smooth and uniform surface, resulting in a shiny appearance. This property makes Bopp film highly desirable for packaging products where visual appeal is important, such as confectionery, snacks, and personal care items.

PP film, though less glossy, offers better transparency and light transmission characteristics. The cast extrusion process employed in its manufacturing ensures excellent clarity, making PP film an ideal choice for applications that require product visibility, such as window films and displays.

IV. Barrier Properties

When it comes to barrier properties, Bopp and PP films exhibit some differences.

Bopp film has good gas barrier properties, making it effective in hindering the ingress or egress of gases, such as oxygen and moisture. This property helps in extending the shelf life of packaged products, particularly in the food and beverage industry.

PP film, however, offers relatively lower gas barrier properties compared to Bopp film. It may allow some gas permeation, depending on the film thickness. Therefore, PP film is more suitable for packaging applications that do not require stringent gas barrier properties, such as textiles or stationery items.

V. Applications

Both Bopp and PP films find numerous applications in the packaging industry due to their unique properties.

Bopp film is widely used for various packaging formats, including flexible packaging, labels, tapes, and wraps. Its excellent tensile strength, clarity, and heat-sealing capabilities make it suitable for an array of products ranging from snacks and confectionery to pharmaceuticals and tobacco.

PP film, on the other hand, is utilized in various applications such as overwraps, laminating films, and lidding films. Its flexibility, good elongation properties, and higher transparency make it an ideal choice for packaging items like newspapers, magazines, bulk beverages, and bulk foods.

In conclusion, while Bopp and PP films have a polypropylene base, they differ in their manufacturing process, physical properties, optical properties, and barrier properties. Understanding these differences is crucial in selecting the appropriate film for specific packaging requirements. Whether it's the need for strength, flexibility, clarity, or gas barrier properties, both Bopp and PP films offer suitable solutions to meet a wide array of packaging needs.

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