Specialty Polymers for Food Contact Consumer Applications
Freedom of choice
Solvay’s specialty polymers have a proven track record in providing strong, lightweight alternatives to metals, thereby reducing costs and improving performance. Plus, they are routinely used to replace engineering polymers that have reached their performance limitations by delivering better mechanical properties, higher heat resistance, inherent flame retardancy, and a high-quality surface finish for applications where aesthetics are important.
For more than 20 years, Solvay has been a reliable materials supplier to the food & beverage industry. We offer the industry’s broadest range of high-performance polymers, which are FDA-compliant and meet stringent European food contact regulations.
High performance polymers offer a range of properties that can be matched with the specific product requirements of food contact applications, notably:
Higher heat resistance – up to 270°C, depending on the specific requirements of the appliance.
- Chemical resistance – approved for use in food contact applications, making metal replacement possible.
- Resistance to repeated contact with food, water, or steam at high temperature and pressure, important for items that are subject to frequent sterilization or dishwasher use.
- High-quality surface finish comparable to that of metal products – important in today’s consumer markets where looks really do matter.
- Smell and taste technology – no trace of ingredients following use.
- Free from BPA and BPS – enhancing product safety.
Specialty polymer advantage
There are four key arguments for switching from metals to high performance polymers that will help sell the benefits to the wider business:
1. Stay compliant with food and drink regulations
There are so many regulations around food, drink, and potable water, that it can be overwhelming. The requirements are being constantly updated and becoming more stringent, outlining which materials can and cannot be used. One of the advantages of using high performance polymers is that the producers have already done most of the regulatory work for you, from advanced research and development to testing and securing the relevant certifications under U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and EU regulations.
Polymer producers also monitor changes to regulations and update their products accordingly.
As a result, there is a wide choice of compliant polymers that are ideally suited for food contact applications and can replace metal or glass in food contact applications. They also offer high temperature, steam, and chemical resistance, without compromising on the taste of food – food is not affected by contact with the material, even at high temperatures.
2. Improve product performance
Switching from metal to high performance polymers makes complete sense when you need to address a specific aspect of product performance. There are high performance polymers that can be used to produce the needles that repeatedly puncture the capsules in coffee machines, for example, or have the resistance needed for coffee machine grinder assemblies.
The range of properties that these polymers offer means that you can choose the right materials to match your requirements, engineer parts precisely, and be confident that they will deliver high performance over a long period.
3. Make processing easier
Creating complex metal parts is difficult and can be expensive. Integrating functions may involve a range of operations, including welding, drilling, or bonding to bring together multiple parts. These add complexity, and can create potential weak points that can lead to warranty issues. Polymers bring the advance of injection molding, so bespoke parts can be created exactly as prescribed, even for complex and intricate shapes offering more design freedom. There are no weak points that could cause issues further down the line, and once the tool is made, the whole process is fast and efficient.
4. Improve aesthetics and differentiate products
Polymers offer aesthetic flexibility so designers can meet the demanding and ever-changing needs of today’s consumers. Polymers have an advantage in that they can be produced in different colors, including transparent, to enhance existing product design. Polymers can also be produced with different textures, for example, smooth and glossy finishes on external parts of high-end kitchen appliances, such as levers on coffee machines.
Weight is another property that can be added, for a substantial, quality feel to the item. For example, appliances made from high performance polymers can be made heavier to improve stability and give them the quality look and feel of metal products.
Specialty Polymers for Food Contact Consumer Applications
When standard nylon is not enough
Amodel® PPA is a family of high-performance polyamides that outperform standard polyamides, offering higherend-use temperatures, lower moisture absorption, better dimensional stability, and improved resistance to creep and fatigue. Typical applications include valves for hot water tanks and boilers, chassis parts in fryers, ovens, coffee machines and other household appliances.
- Higher strength and stiffness
- Better retention of mechanical properties in high humidity
- Greater resistance to a broader range of chemicals
Uniquely combines strength and beauty
Ixef® PARA is a family of high-performance, partially aromatic polyamides used for applications needing overall strength and a high-qualtiy surface finish for applications where aesthetics are important. The tensile strength of PARA compounds are similar to many cast metals and alloys at room temperature. Low and slow moisture absorption provides excellent dimensional stability. Highflow grades produce structural components that are very thin, extremely rigid, and dimensionally stable. Typical applications include those where aesthetics are important such as levers, oven handles, coffee drip grids, and external housing components.
- Very high strength and stiffness
- Excellent surface finish
- High flow for thin-walled, structural parts
Filling cost-performance gaps
Omnix® HPPA is a family of partially aromatic polyamides that bridge the cost-performance gap between PA66 and higher performing polyamides, like Amodel® PPA. Omnix® HPPA compounds can be used in molds designed for other engineering plastics, like PA6, PA66 and PBT. These attributes make this polymer an economical alternative to die-cast alloys, and provides efficient and cost-effective manufacturing. Typical applications include appliance handles housings and other structural components.
- Bridges the gap between PA66 and PPA
- Economical alternative to die-cast alloys
- Efficient, cost-effective manufacturing
Ideal for continuous use in hot environments
Ryton® PPS offers exceptional dimensional stability for components needing to withstand prolonged, high-temperature service. It is inherently flame retardant and offers excellent chemical resistance. Typical applications include fryers, rice cookers and ovens, chassis, pump housings, and non-stick cookware.
- Inherent UL-94 V-0 rating
- Best-in-class long-term heat resistance
- Outstanding chemical resistance
More design freedom and better chemical resistance then stainless steel
KetaSpire® PEEK is one of the highest performing, semi-crystalline thermoplastics available today, offering a combination of superlative properties that allow it to effectively replace metal in some of the most severe enduse environments. It possesses high surface hardness, good tribological properties, thermal stability, and flame retardancy, together with toughness, ductility, superior creep, excellent fatigue and long-term thermal oxidative resistance. All these characteristics make it ideal for the manufacturing of parts such as milk nozzles for coffee machines, ejectors for coffee pads, bearings, and oven applications.
- Best-in-class fatigue performance
- Easy to clean
- High surface hardness
Unique combinations of performance and value
AvaSpire® PAEK is a family of high-performance polyketones tailored to fill cost and performance gaps between PEEK and other high-performance polymers. Depending on the grade, ductility and toughness can be significantly improved versus comparable grades of PEEK, delivering 20% higher tensile elongation at yield and double tensile elongation at break values. Similar to PEEK, it can be used for the same kind of applications within the Consumer Goods market.
- Tougher than PEEK
- Stiffer and less creep than PEEK between 150°C and 210°C
A transparent, temperature-resistant polymer with good chemical resistance
Among all sulfone polymers Udel® PSU features the highest transparency. Different to polycarbonate, it provides excellent hydrolytic and good stress cracking resistance against many solvents and chemicals. Its high glass transition temperature (180°C) makes it the material of choice for many food service applications like trays, pipes, tubes and fittings as well as for household appliances such as transparent control windows, covers and hoods.
- Long-term temperature resistance up to 170°C
- Excellent hydrolytic resistance
The premium sulfone: tough, transparent and temperature resistant
Radel® PPSU is an amorphous, transparent sulfones providing a glossy and hard surface. It combines excellent mechanical performance with outstanding chemical resistance. Other features include little water absorption, UL-94 V-0 rating and an RTI up to 180°C. It is used in various applications in contact with hot water, steam, oil and grease like fittings for beverage preparation, hot water boilers, transparent windows and hoods for fryers and rice cookers. Radel® PPSU is also a good choice for baby bottle and other baby care applications.
- Unique toughness level combined with excellent chemical and hydrolytic resistance
- Long-term temperature resistance up to 190°C
High-heat transparency and chemical resistance
Veradel® PESU is a transparent plastic that combines high heat resistance with good chemical resistance. It exhibits nominal moisture absorption for excellent dimensional stability and is inherently flame retardant. Typical applications include baby bottles, food trays, pipes, tubes, fittings and transparent hoods.
- High heat resistance
- Excellent hydrolytic stability
- Resistance to stress-cracking
- Excellent electrical properties
Solef® PVDF is a semi-crystalline, injection moldable and extrudable fluoropolymer that offers excellent resistance to chemicals and oxidation, exceptional fatigue resistance, and long-term hydrostatic strength. It’s “olefin-like” surface appearance provide good sealing properties. It has been used successfully in domestic water supply applications for nearly 20 years and is widely used for fittings with sealing functions in many appliances like beverage preparation machines. Solef® PVDF is an easy to clean material.
- Outstanding hydrolytic resistance
- Smooth surface to prevent biofilm adhesion
|Baby Bottles||Coffee machines||Air fryers||Rice cookers||Juicers and other cooking appliances||Kitchen utensils||Foodservice and microwave trays||Food processing applications|
|Polymist® and Algoflon® L PTFE||✔||✔|
Food Contact Approvals
|Brand||Grades||EU Food||FDA||China Food
|Amodel® PPA||FC-1140; FC-1150 (L); FC-1160; (Glass fiber reinforced)||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Ixef® PARA||FC-1022 (Glass fiber reinforced)||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Omnix® HPPA||FC-4050; FC-9050 (Glass fiber reinforced)||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Ryton® PPS||R-4-232 Black/Natural;
(Glass fiber reinforced)
|Ryton® PPS||R-7-232 Black/Natural (Glass fiber and Mineral reinforced)||✔||✔||✔|
|KetaSpire® PEEK||KT-820 GF13/GF30 (Glass fiber reinforced)||✔||✔|
|AvaSpire® PAEK||AV-621; AV-630; AV-651||✔||✔|
|AvaSpire® PAEK||AV-621 GF30 (Glass fiber reinforced)||✔|
|Udel® PSU||GF-120 (Glass fiber reinforced)||✔||✔||✔|
|Veradel® PESU||3100; 3300 ULT; 3600||✔||✔||✔|
|Veradel® PESU||A-101; A-201; A-301||✔||✔||✔|
|Veradel® PESU||AG-320; AG-330 (Glass fiber reinforced)||✔||✔|
|Radel® PPSU||R-5000; R-5100||✔||✔||✔|
|Solef® PVDF||1015; 6008; 6010; 6020||✔||✔||✔|