(19)
(11)EP 3 099 733 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
06.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/19

(21)Application number: 15743793.0

(22)Date of filing:  30.01.2015
(51)Int. Cl.: 
C08J 5/18  (2006.01)
C08K 3/00  (2018.01)
C08L 23/06  (2006.01)
C08F 10/02  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2015/013828
(87)International publication number:
WO 2015/116958 (06.08.2015 Gazette  2015/31)

(54)

NANOCOMPOSITE PACKAGING FILM

NANOKOMPOSITVERPACKUNGSFOLIE

FILM D'EMBALLAGE NANOCOMPOSITE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 31.01.2014 US 201461934463 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
07.12.2016 Bulletin 2016/49

(73)Proprietor: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
Neenah, Wisconsin 54956 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • FAULKS, Michael J.
    Neenah, Wisconsin 54956 (US)
  • MLEZIVA, Mark M.
    Neenah, Wisconsin 54956 (US)
  • WANG, James, Hongxue
    Neenah, Wisconsin 54956 (US)
  • CHEN, Feng
    Neenah, Wisconsin 54956 (US)
  • WIDEMAN, Gregory, J.
    Neenah, Wisconsin 54956 (US)

(74)Representative: Dehns 
St. Bride's House 10 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8JD
London EC4Y 8JD (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2007/121048
US-A1- 2006 094 810
US-A1- 2007 135 545
US-A1- 2012 039 975
KR-A- 20100 044 233
US-A1- 2006 094 810
US-A1- 2010 092 793
US-B1- 6 846 532
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Background of the Invention



    [0001] Packaging films are often formed from olefinic polymers, such as polyethylene. In recent years, however, petroleum resources have become more expensive and manufacturers and consumers alike have become more aware of the sustainability need for packaging films with a smaller carbon footprint, which means reduced carbon emissions during the entire life cycle of the manufacture of packaging films. While attempts have been made to add various additives, such as renewable polymers, to films to reduce the content of petroleum-derived olefinic polymers, this usually results in a corresponding decrease in some mechanical properties (e.g., ductility) or tensile strength, etc.), which is highly undesirable for the manufacturers and users of packaging materials. As such, a need currently exists for a film that has a better environmental impact as indicated by reduced carbon footprint or reduced consumption of petroleum-based polymers, but yet can also exhibit good mechanical properties required for high-performance packaging film applications.

    Summary of the Invention



    [0002] In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, a packaging film is disclosed that has a thickness of about 50 micrometers or less. The film contains a core layer that is positioned adjacent to an outer layer, wherein the core layer, the outer layer, or both are formed from a polymer composition. The polymer composition contains from about 70 wt.% to about 99 wt.% of an ethylene polymer, from about 0.1 wt.% to about 20 wt.% of a nanoclay having an organic surface treatment, and from 0.05 wt.% to about 15 wt.% of a polyolefin compatibilizer that contains an olefin component and a polar component. The organic surface treatment includes a quaternary onium.

    [0003] In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, a packaging film is disclosed that has a thickness of about 50 micrometers or less. The film contains a core layer that is positioned between a first outer layer and a second outer layer, wherein the core layer constitutes from about 50 wt.% to about 99 wt.% of the film and the outer layers constitute from about 1 wt.% to about 50 wt.% of the film. Further, the core layer, first outer layer, second outer layer, or a combination thereof are formed from a polymer composition. The polymer composition that contains from about 70 wt.% to about 99 wt.% of an ethylene polymer, from about 0.1 wt.% to about 20 wt.% of a nanoclay having an organic surface treatment, and from 0.05 wt.% to about 15 wt.% of a polyolefin compatibilizer that contains an olefin component and a polar component. The organic surface treatment includes a quaternary onium.

    [0004] Other features and aspects of the present invention are described in more detail below.

    Brief Description of the Drawing



    [0005] A full and enabling disclosure of the present invention, including the best mode thereof, directed to one of ordinary skill in the art, is set forth more particularly in the remainder of the specification, which makes reference to the appended figure in which:

    Fig. 1 is a schematic illustration of one embodiment of a process that can be used to form the film of the present invention;

    Fig. 2 is an X-ray diffraction graph for Example 5;

    Fig. 3 are transmission electron microphotographs of Example 5 in which Fig. 3(a) is at a lower magnification (depicted scale of 2 µm) and Fig. 3(b) is at a higher magnification (depicted scale of 200 nm);

    Fig. 4 is a graph that depicts logarithmic storage modulus (G') vs. logarithmic frequency (γ) for the samples of Example 5;

    Fig. 5 is a graph that depicts complex viscosity η* vs. logarithmic frequency (γ) for the samples of Example 5;

    Fig. 6 is a graph that depicts log G' (storage modulus) and log G" (loss modulus) vs. logarithmic frequency (γ) for the samples of Example 5;

    Fig. 7 is a perspective view of a testing apparatus that may be used to evaluate noise levels, with the apparatus door open;

    Fig. 8 is a perspective view of the testing apparatus of Fig. 7, with the apparatus door closed; and

    Fig. 9 is a plan view of the apparatus of Fig. 7 taken along arrow 190.



    [0006] Repeat use of reference characters in the present specification and drawing is intended to represent same or analogous features or elements of the invention.

    Detailed Description of Representative Embodiments



    [0007] Reference now will be made in detail to various embodiments of the invention, one or more examples of which are set forth below. Each example is provided by way of explanation, not limitation of the invention. In fact, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations may be made in the present invention without departing from the scope of the invention. For instance, features illustrated or described as part of one embodiment, may be used on another embodiment to yield a still further embodiment. Thus, it is intended that the present invention cover such modifications and variations.

    [0008] Generally speaking, the present invention is directed to a multi-layered nanocomposite film for use in packaging. More particularly, the film contains at least one core layer positioned adjacent to at least one outer layer. For example, in one embodiment, the film contains a core layer that is positioned between two outer layers. In accordance with the present invention, the core layer(s) and/or outer layer(s) may be formed from a polymer composition that contains an ethylene polymer, nanoclay having an organic surface treatment, and a compatibilizer that includes an olefin component and a polar component. Nanoclays constitute from about 0.1 wt.% to about 20 wt.%, in some embodiments from about 0.5 wt.% to about 15 wt.%, and in some embodiments, from about 1 wt.% to about 10 wt.% of the polymer composition. Ethylene polymers constitute from about 70 wt.% to about 99 wt.%, in some embodiments from about 75 wt.% to about 98 wt.%, and in some embodiments, from about 80 wt.% to 95 wt.% of the polymer composition. Compatibilizers constitute from about 0.05 wt.% to about 15 wt.%, in some embodiments from about 0.1 wt.% to about 12 wt.%, and in some embodiments, from about 0.2 wt.% to about 10 wt.% of the polymer composition.

    [0009] Due to the use of nanoclay in the polymer composition, the resulting film has a better environmental impact as it uses a reduced amount of ethylene polymers. For example, the film has a smaller carbon footprint and can potentially reduce energy input and greenhouse gas emissions. Notably, the present inventors have discovered that the film can achieve such an improved environmental impact without a sacrifice in mechanical properties. In fact, in many cases, it was surprisingly found that certain mechanical properties (e.g., peak stress, modulus, etc.) were significantly increased even when the polymer usage was substantially reduced. These benefits are accomplished, in part, by selectively controlling the particular type and concentration of the components used to form the film, as well as the manner in which it is formed. For example, without intending to be limited by theory, it is believed that the organic surface treatment can have a plastifying-like effect on the nanoclay, which can reduce the degree of surface friction between the nanoclay and domains of the ethylene polymer when the composition is subjected to an elongational force. It is also believed that the surface treatment can have a lubricating effect, which allows the macromolecular chains of the ethylene polymer to slip along the nanoclay surface without causing debonding, thus maintaining a high degree of ductility. This can be accomplished by selectively controlling the particular type of surface treatment, the type of ethylene polymer, and the degree of mixing during melt extrusion. Furthermore, the nanoclay can optionally be pre-blended with the ethylene polymer and compatibilizer to form the polymer composition, which is thereafter passed through an extrusion die and formed into a film. Through such a multi-step formation process, the nanoclay can become well-dispersed and more uniformly oriented, thereby even further enhancing ductility. It is believed that certain types of formation processes (e.g., cast film or blown film processes) are also particularly well suited to allow the formation of unique structures with a high degree of ductility.

    [0010] One parameter that is indicative of good ductility is the peak elongation of the film in the machine direction ("MD") and/or cross-machine direction ("CD"). For example, the film typically exhibits a peak elongation in the machine direction of about 400% or more, in some embodiments about 500% or more, in some embodiments about 550% or more, and in some embodiments, from about 600% to about 2000%. The film may likewise exhibit a peak elongation in the cross-machine direction of about 750% or more, in some embodiments about 800% or more, in some embodiments about 800% or more, and in some embodiments, from about 850% to about 2500%. Despite having such good ductility, the film of the present invention is nevertheless able to retain good mechanical strength. For example, the film of the present invention may exhibit an ultimate tensile strength in the machine direction and/or cross-machine direction of from about 20 to about 150 Megapascals (MPa), in some embodiments from about 25 to about 100 MPa, and in some embodiments, from about 30 to about 80 MPa. The Young's modulus of elasticity of the film, which is equal to the ratio of the tensile stress to the tensile strain and is determined from the slope of a stress-strain curve, may also be good. For example, the film typically exhibits a Young's modulus in the machine direction and/or cross-machine direction of from about 50 to about 500 MPa, in some embodiments from about 100 to about 400 MPa, and in some embodiments, from about 150 to about 350 MPa.

    [0011] Surprisingly, the good ductility and other mechanical properties can be achieved even though the film has a very low thickness. In this regard, the normalized mechanical properties, which are determined by dividing a particular mechanical value (e.g., Young's modulus, tensile strength, or peak elongation) by the average film thickness (µm), may also be improved. For example, the film may exhibit a normalized peak elongation in the machine direction of about 15%/µm or more, in some embodiments about 20%/µm or more, and in some embodiments, from about 25%/µm to about 60%/µm. The film may likewise exhibit a normalized peak elongation in the cross-machine direction of about 40%/µm or more, in some embodiments about 50%/µm or more, and in some embodiments, from about 55%/µm to about 80%/µm. The film may exhibit a normalized ultimate tensile strength in the machine direction and/or cross-machine direction of from about 0.5 to about 20 MPa/µm, in some embodiments from about 1 to about 12 MPa/µm, and in some embodiments, from about 2 to about 8 MPa/µm. The normalized Young's modulus in the machine direction and/or cross-machine direction may also be from about 5 to about 50 MPa/µm, in some embodiments from about 10 to about 40 MPa/µm, and in some embodiments, from about 15 to about 35 MPa/µm. The actual thickness of the film is about 50 micrometers or less, in some embodiments from about 1 to about 40 micrometers, in some embodiments from about 5 to about 35 micrometers, and in some embodiments, from about 10 to about 30 micrometers.

    [0012] The present inventors have also discovered that the film may generate a relatively low degree of noise when physically deformed. When subjected to physical deformation for two (2) minutes, for instance, the noise level of the film may be about 45 decibels (dB) or less, in some embodiments about 42 dB or less, and in some embodiments, from about 20 dB to about 40 dB, such as determined at a frequency of 2,000 Hz or 4,000 Hz. The "normalized noise level" of the film, which is determined by dividing the noise level of the film that is generated while the film is subjected to physical deformation for two (2) minutes by the noise level generated by an ambient environment, may likewise be about 2.5 or less, in some embodiments about 2.4 or less, and in some embodiments, from about 1.5 to about 2.3, such as determined at a frequency of 2,000 Hz or 4,000 Hz. In addition to a reduced noise level, the film of the present invention may also have excellent barrier properties to oxygen transmission. Without intending to be limited by theory, it is believed that the nanoclay platelet structure can create a tortuous pathway in the film, which may slow down the transmission rate and reduce the amount of permeant oxygen. For example, the oxygen transmission rate may be about 350 cm3/100 in2∗24-hours or less, in some embodiments about 330 cm3/100 in2∗24-hours or less, and in some embodiments, from about 100 to about 300 cm3/100 in2∗24-hours, such as determined in accordance with ASTM D3985-05 at a temperature of 23°C and a relative humidity of 0%.

    [0013] Various embodiments of the present invention will now be described in more detail.

    I. Polymer Composition


    A. Ethylene Polymer



    [0014] Any of a variety of ethylene polymers may generally be employed in the present invention. In one embodiment, for instance, the ethylene polymer may be a copolymer of ethylene and an α-olefin, such as a C3-C20 α-olefin or C3-C12 α-olefin. Suitable α-olefins may be linear or branched (e.g., one or more C1-C3 alkyl branches, or an aryl group). Specific examples include 1-butene; 3-methyl-1-butene; 3,3-dimethyl-1-butene; 1-pentene; 1-pentene with one or more methyl, ethyl or propyl substituents; 1-hexene with one or more methyl, ethyl or propyl substituents; 1-heptene with one or more methyl, ethyl or propyl substituents; 1-octene with one or more methyl, ethyl or propyl substituents; 1-nonene with one or more methyl, ethyl or propyl substituents; ethyl, methyl or dimethyl-substituted 1-decene; 1-dodecene; and styrene. Particularly desired α-olefin comonomers are 1-butene, 1-hexene and 1-octene. The ethylene content of such copolymers may be from about 60 mole% to about 99 mole%, in some embodiments from about 80 mole% to about 98.5 mole%, and in some embodiments, from about 87 mole% to about 97.5 mole%. The α-olefin content may likewise range from about 1 mole% to about 40 mole%, in some embodiments from about 1.5 mole% to about 15 mole%, and in some embodiments, from about 2.5 mole% to about 13 mole%. The density of the polyethylene may vary depending on the type of polymer employed, but generally ranges from about 0.85 to about 0.96 grams per cubic centimeter (g/cm3). Polyethylene "plastomers", for instance, may have a density in the range of from about 0.85 to about 0.91 g/cm3. Likewise, "linear low density polyethylene" (LLDPE) may have a density in the range of from about 0.91 to about 0.940 g/cm3; "low density polyethylene" (LDPE) may have a density in the range of from about 0.910 to about 0.940 g/cm3; and "high density polyethylene" (HDPE) may have density in the range of from about 0.940 to about 0.960 g/cm3, such as determined in accordance with ASTM D792.

    [0015] In certain embodiments, an ethylene polymer may be employed that has a relatively low density in the range of about 0.94 g/cm3 or less, in some embodiments from about 0.85 to about 0.94 g/cm3, and in some embodiments, from about 0.90 to about 0.935 g/cm3. One or more polymers may be employed in the composition that has these density characteristics. Linear low density polyethylene ("LLDPE") and/or low density polyethylene ("LDPE") are particularly suitable. The low density ethylene polymer may have a relatively low melting temperature and modulus of elasticity, which can provide the resulting film with a relatively soft and ductile feel. For example, the low density ethylene polymer may have a melting temperature of from about 50°C to about 145°C, in some embodiments from about 75°C to about 140°C, and in some embodiments, from about 100°C to about 135°C, and a modulus of elasticity of from about 50 to about 700 MPa, in some embodiments from about 75 to about 600 MPa, and in some embodiments, from about 100 to about 500 MPa, as determined in accordance with ASTM D638-10. The low density ethylene polymer may also have a melt flow index of from about 0.1 to about 100 grams per 10 minutes, in some embodiments from about 0.5 to about 50 grams per 10 minutes, and in some embodiments, from about 1 to about 40 grams per 10 minutes, determined at a load of 2160 grams and at 190°C, as determined in accordance with ASTM D1238-13 (or ISO 1133).

    [0016] If desired, low density ethylene polymers may constitute a substantial majority of the polymers employed in the composition. For example, low density ethylene polymers may constitute about 80 wt.% or more, in some embodiments about 85 wt.% or more, and in some embodiments, from about 90 wt.% to 100 wt.% of the polymers employed in the composition. Of course, in other embodiments, high density ethylene polymers may also be employed. For example, low density ethylene polymers may constitute from about 5 wt.% to about 90 wt.%, in some embodiments from about 10 wt.% to about 80 wt.%, and in some embodiments, from about 20 wt.% to 70 wt.% of the polymer composition and high density ethylene polymers may constitute from about 5 wt.% to about 90 wt.%, in some embodiments from about 10 wt.% to about 80 wt.%, and in some embodiments, from about 20 wt.% to 70 wt.% of the polymer composition. The high density ethylene polymers typically have a density of greater than about 0.94 g/cm3, in some embodiments from about 0.945 to about 0.98 g/cm3, and in some embodiments, from about 0.95 to about 0.97 g/cm3. Once again, one or more polymers may be employed in the composition that has these characteristics. High density polyethylene ("HDPE") is particularly suitable. The high density ethylene polymers may have a relatively low melting temperature and high modulus of elasticity. For example, the high density ethylene polymers may have a melting temperature of from about 70°C to about 160°C, in some embodiments from about 85°C to about 150°C, and in some embodiments, from about 110°C to about 145°C, and a modulus of elasticity of from about 700 to about 5,000 MPa, in some embodiments from about 750 to about 3,000 MPa, and in some embodiments, from about 1,000 to about 2,000 MPa, as determined in accordance with ASTM D638-10. The high density ethylene polymers may also have a melt flow index of from about 0.1 to about 100 grams per 10 minutes, in some embodiments from about 0.5 to about 50 grams per 10 minutes, and in some embodiments, from about 1 to about 40 grams per 10 minutes, determined at a load of 2160 grams and at 190°C, as determined in accordance with ASTM D1238-13 (or ISO 1133).

    [0017] Various known techniques may generally be employed to form ethylene polymers. For instance, ethylene polymers may be formed using a free radical or a coordination catalyst (e.g., Ziegler-Natta). Typically, the ethylene polymer is formed from multi-site Ziegler-Natta catalysts, the resulting ethylene polymer has a broad molecular weight distribution with a polydispersity index (weight average molecular weight divided by number average molecular weight) of up to 20 or higher. The ethylene polymer made by a single-site coordination catalyst, such as a metallocene catalyst, has a narrow molecular weight distribution. Such a catalyst system produces ethylene polymers in which a comonomer is randomly distributed within a molecular chain and uniformly distributed across the different molecular weight fractions. Metallocene-catalyzed polyolefins are described, for instance, in U.S. Patent Nos. 5,571,619 to McAlpin et al.; 5,322,728 to Davis et al.; 5,472,775 to Obiieski et al.; 5,272,236 to Lai et al.; and 6,090,325 to Wheat, et al. Examples of metallocene catalysts include bis(n-butylcyclopentadienyl)titanium dichloride, bis(n-butylcyclopentadienyl)zirconium dichloride, bis(cyclopentadienyl)scandium chloride, bis(indenyl)zirconium dichloride, bis(methylcyclopentadienyl)titanium dichloride, bis(methylcyclopentadienyl)zirconium dichloride, cobaltocene, cyclopentadienyltitanium trichloride, ferrocene, hafnocene dichloride, isopropyl(cyclopentadienyl,-1-flourenyl)zirconium dichloride, molybdocene dichloride, nickelocene, niobocene dichloride, ruthenocene, titanocene dichloride, zirconocene chloride hydride, zirconocene dichloride, and so forth. Polymers made using metallocene catalysts typically have a narrow molecular weight range. For instance, metallocene-catalyzed polymers may have polydispersity numbers (Mw/Mn) of below 4, controlled short chain branching distribution, and controlled isotacticity. Ethylene polymers may also have a mono-modal or a multimodal (e.g., bimodal) molecular weight distribution, such as measured using gel permeation chromatography).

    B. Nanoclay



    [0018] The term "nanoclay" generally refers to nanoparticles of a clay material (a naturally occurring mineral, an organically modified mineral, or a synthetic nanomaterial). The clay material typically has a flake-like morphology in that it possesses a relatively flat or platelet shape. The clay platelets may, for example, have an average thickness of from about 0.2 to about 100 nanometers, in some embodiments from about 0.5 to about 50 nanometers, and in some embodiments, from about 1 to about 20 nanometers. The "aspect ratio" of the clay material (i.e., the average length of the platelets divided by the average thickness) is also relatively large, such as from about 20 to about 1000, in some embodiments from about 50 to about 80, in some embodiments, from about 100 to about 400. The average length (e.g., diameter) may, for instance, range from about 20 nanometers to about 10 micrometers, in some embodiments from about 100 nanometers to about 5 micrometers, and in some embodiments, from about 200 nanometers to about 4 micrometers.

    [0019] The clay material may be formed from a phyllosilicate, such as a smectite clay mineral (e.g., bentonite, kaolinite, or montmorillonite, as well as salts thereof, such as sodium montmorillonite, magnesium montmorillonite, calcium montmorillonite, etc.); nontronite; beidellite; volkonskoite; hectorite; saponite; sauconite; sobockite; stevensite; svinfordite; vermiculite; etc. Other useful nanoclays include micaceous minerals (e.g., illite) and mixed illite/smectite minerals, such as rectorite, tarosovite, ledikite and admixtures of illites with the clay minerals named above. Particularly suitable are montmorillonite (2:1 layered smectite clay structure), bentonite (aluminium phyllosilicate formed primarily of montmorillonite), kaolinite (1:1 aluminosilicate having a platy structure and empirical formula of Al2Si2O5(OH)4), halloysite (1:1 aluminosilicate having a tubular structure and empirical formula of Al2Si2O5(OH)4), etc.

    [0020] As noted above, the nanoclay also contains an organic surface treatment that enhances the hydrophobicity of the clay material and thus improves its compatibility with the ethylene polymer. The organic surface treatment is formed from a quaternary onium (e.g., salt or ion), which may become intercalated via ion-exchange into the interlayer spaces between adjacent layered clay platelets. The quaternary onium ion may have the following structure:

    wherein

    X is N, P, S, or O; and

    R1, R2, R3 and R4 are independently hydrogen or organic moieties, such as linear or branched alkyl, aryl or aralkyl moieties having 1 to about 24 carbon atoms.



    [0021] Particularly suitable quaternary ammonium ions are those having the structure below:

    wherein

    R1 is a long chain alkyl moiety ranging from C6 to C24, straight or branched chain, including mixtures of long chain moieties, such as C6, C8, C10, C12, C14, C16, C18, C20, C22 and C24, alone or in any combination; and

    R2, R3 and R4 are moieties, which may be the same or different, selected from the group consisting of H, alkyl, hydroxyalkyl, benzyl, substituted benzyl, e.g., straight or branched chain alkylsubstituted and halogen-substituted; ethoxylated or propoxylated alkyl; ethoxylated or propoxylated benzyl (e.g., 1-10 moles of ethoxylation or 1-10 moles of propoxylation).



    [0022] Additional useful multi-charged spacing/coupling agents include for example, tetra-, tri-, and di-onium species such as tetra-ammonium, tri-ammonium, and di-ammonium (primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary), -phosphonium, -oxonium, or -sulfonium derivatives of aliphatic, aromatic or arylaliphatic amines, phosphines, esters, alcohols and sulfides. Illustrative of such materials are di-onium compounds of the formula:

            R1-X+-R-Y+

    where X+ and Y+, are the same or different, and are ammonium, sulfonium, phosphonium, or oxonium radicals such as -NH(CH3)2+, -NH2(CH3)+, -N(CH3)3+, -N(CH3)2(CH2CH3)+, - N(CH3)(CH2CH3)2+, -S(CH3)2+, -S(CH3)2+, -P(CH3)3+, -NH3+, etc.;

    R is an organic spacing, backbone radical, straight or branched, such as those having from 2 to 24 carbon atoms, and in some embodiments from 3 to 10 carbon atoms, in a backbone organic spacing molecule covalently bonded at its ends to charged N+, P+, S+ and/or O+cations;

    R1 can be hydrogen, or a linear or branched alkyl radical of 1 to 22 carbon atoms, linear or branched, and in some embodiments, 6 to 22 carbon atoms.



    [0023] Illustrative of useful R groups are alkyls (e.g., methyl, ethyl, butyl, octyl, etc.); aryl (e.g., benzyl, phenylalkyl, etc.); alkylenes (e.g., methylene, ethylene, octylene, nonylene, tert-butylene, neopentylene, isopropylene, sec-butylene, dodecylene, etc.); alkenylenes (e.g., 1-propenylene, 1-butenylene, 1-pentenylene, 1-hexenylene, 1-heptenylene, 1-octenylene, etc.); cycloalkenylenes (e.g., cyclohexenylene, cyclopentenylene, etc.); hydroxyalkyl (e.g. hydroxymethyl, hydroxyethyl, hydroxyl-n-propyl, hydroxyisopropyl, hydroxyl-n-butyl, hydroxyl-iso-butyl, hydroxyl-tert-butyl, etc.), alkanoylalkylenes (e.g., butanoyl octadecylene, pentanoyl nonadecylene, octanoyl pentadecylene, ethanoyl undecylene, propanoyl hexadecylene, etc.); alkylaminoalkylenes (e.g., methylamino octadecylene, ethylamino pentadecylene, butylamino nonadecylene, etc.); dialkylaminoalkylene (e.g., dimethylamino octadecylene, methylethylamino nonadecylene, etc.); arylaminoalkylenes (e.g., phenylamino octadecylene, p-methylphenylamino nonadecylene, etc.); diarylaminoalkylenes (e.g., diphenylamino pentadecylene, p-nitrophenyl-p'-methylphenylamino octadecylene, etc.); alkylarylaminoalkylenes (e.g., 2-phenyl-4-methylamino pentadecylene, etc.); alkylsulfinylenes, alkylsulfonylenes, alkylthio, arylthio, arylsulfinylenes, and arylsulfonylenes (e.g., butylthio octadecylene, neopentylthio pentadecylene, methylsulfinylnonadecylene, benzylsulfinyl pentadecylene, phenylsulfinyl octadecylene, propylthiooctadecylene, octylthio pentadecylene, nonylsulfonyl nonadecylene, octylsulfonyl hexadecylene, methylthio nonadecylene, isopropylthio octadecylene, phenylsulfonyl pentadecylene, methylsulfonyl nonadecylene, nonylthio pentadecylene, phenylthio octadecylene, ethyltio nonadecylene, benzylthio undecylene, phenethylthio pentadecylene, sec-butylthio octadecylene, naphthylthio undecylene, etc.); alkoxycarbonylalkylenes (e.g., methoxycarbonylene, ethoxycarbonylene, butoxycarbonylene, etc.); cycloalkylenes (e.g., cyclohexylene, cyclopentylene, cyclooctylene, cycloheptylene, etc.); alkoxyalkylenes (e.g., methoxymethylene, ethoxymethylene, butoxymethylene, propoxyethylene, pentoxybutylene, etc.); aryloxyalkylenes and aryloxyarylenes (e.g., phenoxyphenylene, phenoxymethylene, etc.); aryloryalkylenes (e.g., phenoxydecylene, phenoxyoctylene, etc.); arylalkylenes (e.g., benzylene, phenthylene, 8-phenyloctylene, 10-phenyldecylene, etc.); alkylarylenes (e.g., 3-decylphenylene, 4-octylphenylene, 4-nonylphenylene, etc.); and polypropylene glycol and polyethylene glycol substituents (e.g., ethylene, propylene, butylene, phenylene, benzylene, tolylene, p-styrylene, p-phenylmethylene, octylene, dodecylene, octadecylene, methoxyethylene, etc.), as well as combinations thereof. Such tetra-, tri-, and di-ammonium, -sulfonium, -phosphonium, -oxonium; ammonium/sulfonium; ammonium/phosphonium; ammonium/oxonium; phosphonium/oxonium; sulfonium/oxonium; and sulfonium/phosphonium radicals are well known in the art and can be derived from the corresponding amines, phosphines, alcohols or ethers, and sulfides.

    [0024] Particularly suitable multi-charged spacing/coupling agent compounds are multi-onium ion compounds that include at least two primary, secondary, tertiary or quaternary ammonium, phosphonium, sulfonium, and/or oxonium ions having the following general formula:

    wherein

    R is an alkylene, aralkylene or substituted alkylene charged atom spacing moiety; and

    Z1, Z2, R1, R2, R3, and R4 may be the same or different and selected from the group consisting of hydrogen, alkyl, aralkyl, benzyl, substituted benzyl (e.g., e.g., straight or branched chain alkylsubstituted and halogen-substituted); ethoxylated or propoxylated alkyl; ethoxylated or propoxylated benzyl (e.g., 1-10 moles of ethoxylation or 1-10 moles of propoxylation).



    [0025] Particularly suitable organic cations may include, for instance, quaternary ammonium compounds, such as dimethyl bis[hydrogenated tallow] ammonium chloride (2M2HT), methyl benzyl bis[hydrogenated tallow] ammonium chloride (MB2HT), methyl tris[hydrogenated tallow alkyl] chloride (M3HT), etc. An example of a suitable nanoclay is Nanomer™ 1.44P, which is a quaternary ammonium modified montmorillonite nanoclay and commercially available from Nanocor, Inc. Other suitable nanoclay additives include those available from Southern Clay Products, such as Cloisite™ 15A, Cloisite™ 30B, Cloisite™ 93A, and Cloisite™ Na+.

    [0026] The onium ion may be introduced into (sorbed within) the interlayer spaces of the clay material in a number of ways. In one method, for example, the clay material is slurried in water, and the onium ion compound is dissolved therein. If necessary, the onium ion compound can be dissolved first in an organic solvent (e.g., propanol). If desired, the nanoclay may also be intercalated with an oligomer and/or polymer intercalant as is known in the art. For example, an olefin polymer or oligomer (e.g., ethylene polymer) intercalant may be employed. To intercalate an onium ion and an olefin intercalant between adjacent phyllosilicate platelets and optionally separate (exfoliate) the layered material into individual platelets, for example, the clay material may be first contacted with the onium ion and simultaneously or thereafter contacted with the melted oligomer/polymer intercalant to the onium ion-intercalated layered material. This may be accomplished, for instance, by directly compounding the materials in an extruder. Alternatively, the oligomer/polymer can be intercalated by an emulsion process by vigorously mixing with an emulsifier. If desired, a coupling agent (e.g., silane coupling agent) may also be employed to help bond the intercalant with the clay material. For example, the clay material may be initially treated with a coupling agent followed by ion-exchange of onium ions between the clay material, prior to or simultaneously with intercalation of the oligomer(s) or polymer(s). It should be understood that the oligomer or polymer intercalant(s) can also be intercalated between and complexed to the internal platelet faces by other well-known mechanisms, such as by dipole/dipole bonding (direct intercalation of the oligomer or polymer) as described in U.S. Patent Nos. 5,880,197 and 5,877,248, as well as by acidification with substitution with hydrogen (ion-exchanging the interlayer cations with hydrogen by use of an acid or ion-exchange resin) as described in U.S. Patent Nos. 5,102,948 and 5,853,886.

    C. Compatibilizer



    [0027] The compatibilizer may be a polyolefin containing an olefin component and a polar component. The olefin component is non-polar and thus generally has an affinity for the ethylene polymer. The olefin component may generally be formed from any linear or branched α-olefin monomer, oligomer, or polymer (including copolymers) derived from an α-olefin monomer. In one particular embodiment, for example, the compatibilizer includes at least one linear or branched α-olefin monomer, such as those having from 2 to 20 carbon atoms and preferably from 2 to 8 carbon atoms. Specific examples include ethylene, propylene, 1-butene; 3-methyl-1-butene; 3,3-dimethyl-1-butene; 1-pentene; 1-pentene with one or more methyl, ethyl or propyl substituents; 1-hexene with one or more methyl, ethyl or propyl substituents; 1-heptene with one or more methyl, ethyl or propyl substituents; 1-octene with one or more methyl, ethyl or propyl substituents; 1-nonene with one or more methyl, ethyl or propyl substituents; ethyl, methyl or dimethyl-substituted 1-decene; 1-dodecene; and styrene. Particularly desired α-olefin co-monomers are ethylene and propylene.

    [0028] The polyolefin compatibilizer is also functionalized with a polar component, which can be grafted onto the polymer, incorporated as a monomeric constituent of the polymer (e.g., block or random copolymers), etc. When grafted onto a polymer backbone, particularly suitable polar groups are maleic anhydride, maleic acid, acrylic acid, methacrylic acid, fumaric acid, maleimide, maleic acid hydrazide, a reaction product of maleic anhydride and diamine, methylnadic anhydride, dichloromaleic anhydride, maleic acid amide, etc. Maleic anhydride modified polyolefins are particularly suitable for use in the present invention. Such modified polyolefins are typically formed by grafting maleic anhydride onto a polymeric backbone material. Such maleated polyolefins are available from E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company under the designation FUSABOND®, such as the P Series (chemically modified polypropylene), E Series (chemically modified polyethylene), C Series (chemically modified ethylene vinyl acetate), A Series (chemically modified ethylene acrylate copolymers or terpolymers), M Series (chemically modified polyethylene), or N Series (chemically modified ethylene-propylene, ethylene-propylene diene monomer ("EPDM") or ethylene-octene). Alternatively, modifier polyolefins are also available from Chemtura Corp. under the designation POLYBOND® (e.g., acrylic acid-modified polypropylene) and Eastman Chemical Company under the designation Eastman G series.

    [0029] As noted above, the polar component may also be incorporated into the polyolefin compatibilizer as a monomer. For example, a (meth)acrylic monomeric component may be employed in certain embodiments. As used herein, the term "(meth)acrylic" includes acrylic and methacrylic monomers, as well as salts or esters thereof, such as acrylate and methacrylate monomers. Examples of such (meth)acrylic monomers may include methyl acrylate, ethyl acrylate, n-propyl acrylate, i-propyl acrylate, n-butyl acrylate, s-butyl acrylate, i-butyl acrylate, t-butyl acrylate, n-amyl acrylate, i-amyl acrylate, isobornyl acrylate, n-hexyl acrylate, 2-ethylbutyl acrylate, 2-ethylhexyl acrylate, n-octyl acrylate, n-decyl acrylate, methylcyclohexyl acrylate, cyclopentyl acrylate, cyclohexyl acrylate, methyl methacrylate, ethyl methacrylate, 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate, n-propyl methacrylate, n-butyl methacrylate, i-propyl methacrylate, i-butyl methacrylate, n-amyl methacrylate, n-hexyl methacrylate, i-amyl methacrylate, s-butyl-methacrylate, t-butyl methacrylate, 2-ethylbutyl methacrylate, methylcyclohexyl methacrylate, cinnamyl methacrylate, crotyl methacrylate, cyclohexyl methacrylate, cyclopentyl methacrylate, 2-ethoxyethyl methacrylate, isobornyl methacrylate, etc., as well as combinations thereof. Other types of suitable polar monomers include ester monomers, amide monomers, etc.

    D. Other Components



    [0030] In addition to the components noted above, other additives may also be incorporated into the film of the present invention, such as slip additives, melt stabilizers, processing stabilizers, heat stabilizers, light stabilizers, antioxidants, heat aging stabilizers, whitening agents, bonding agents, fillers, etc. Further, hindered phenols are commonly used as an antioxidant in the production of films. Some suitable hindered phenols include those available from Ciba Specialty Chemicals under the trade name "Irganox®", such as Irganox® 1076, 1010, or E 201. Moreover, bonding agents may also be added to the film to facilitate bonding of the film to additional materials (e.g., nonwoven webs). Examples of such bonding agents include hydrogenated hydrocarbon resins. Other suitable bonding agents are described in U.S. Patent Nos. 4,789,699 to Kieffer et al. and 5,695,868 to McCormack.

    II. Film Construction



    [0031] The film of the present invention can have any number of layers, such as from 2 to 20 layers, and in some embodiments, from 3 to 10 layers. Regardless of the total number, the film generally contains at least one core layer that is positioned adjacent to at least one outer layer. In one embodiment, for example, it may be desirable to employ first and second outer layers that sandwich the core layer. The core layer(s) typically constitute a substantial portion of the weight of the film, such as from about 50 wt.% to about 99 wt.%, in some embodiments from about 55 wt.% to about 90 wt.%, and in some embodiments, from about 60 wt.% to about 85 wt.% of the film. The outer layer(s) may likewise constitute from about 1 wt.% to about 50 wt.%, in some embodiments from about 10 wt.% to about 45 wt.%, and in some embodiments, from about 15 wt.% to about 40 wt.% of the film. Each outer layer may also have a thickness of from about 0.1 to about 10 micrometers, in some embodiments from about 0.5 to about 5 micrometers, and in some embodiments, from about 1 to about 2.5 micrometers. Likewise, the core layer may have a thickness of from about from about 1 to about 40 micrometers, in some embodiments from about 2 to about 25 micrometers, and in some embodiments, from about 5 to about 20 micrometers. As noted above, the total thickness of the film is about 50 micrometers or less, in some embodiments from about 1 to about 40 micrometers, in some embodiments from about 5 to about 35 micrometers, and in some embodiments, from about 10 to about 30 micrometers.

    [0032] The polymer composition of the present invention may be employed in any layer of the film, including the core layer and/or the outer layer. In one embodiment, for example, the core layer is formed from the polymer composition of the present invention and the outer layer(s) are formed from the polymer composition or from an additional polymer material. Likewise, in other possible embodiments, one or more of the outer layers are formed from the polymer composition of the present invention and the core layer is formed from an additional polymer material. When employed, the additional material may include any type of polymer, such as polyolefins (e.g., polyethylene, polypropylene, etc.), polyesters, polyamides, styrenic copolymers, polyurethanes, polyvinyl acetate, polyvinyl alcohol, etc. When supplied, the nanoclay may itself be in the form of a masterbatch, which may contain nanoclay particles blended with a polymer (e.g., ethylene polymer). Alternatively, the nanoclay may be in the form of a powder containing particles, such as described above.

    [0033] One benefit of the present invention is that the particular components of the polymer composition can be tailored to achieve different properties when employed in different layers of the film. For instance, outer layers are often used for heat sealing or printing. In this regard, when employed in an outer layer, the polymer composition may use a relatively small amount of nanoclays, such as from about 0.1 wt.% to about 15 wt.%, in some embodiments from about 0.5 wt.% to about 10 wt.%, and in some embodiments, from about 1 wt.% to about 8 wt.% of the polymer composition. The polymer composition used to form the outer layer may also contain an ethylene polymer having a relatively low density, such as about 0.94 g/cm3 or less, in some embodiments from about 0.85 to about 0.94 g/cm3, and in some embodiments, from about 0.90 to about 0.935 g/cm3. One or more polymers may be employed in the composition that has these density characteristics. Linear low density polyethylene ("LLDPE") and/or low density polyethylene ("LDPE"), which may optionally be metallocene-catalyzed as described above, are particularly suitable. Other suitable ethylene polymers may likewise include copolymers, such as ethylene vinyl acetate ("EVA") or ethylene acrylic acid ("EAA"). Such ethylene polymers typically have a relatively low melting temperature and modulus of elasticity, which can enable them to more readily serve as a heat sealing or printable layer of the film. For example, the ethylene polymer may have a melting temperature of from about 50°C to about 145°C, in some embodiments from about 75°C to about 140°C, and in some embodiments, from about 100°C to about 135°C, and a modulus of elasticity of from about 50 to about 700 MPa, in some embodiments from about 75 to about 600 MPa, and in some embodiments, from about 100 to about 500 MPa, as determined in accordance with ASTM D638-10. The ethylene polymer may also have a melt flow index of from about 1 to about 100 grams per 10 minutes, in some embodiments from about 5 to about 50 grams per 10 minutes, and in some embodiments, from about 10 to about 40 grams per 10 minutes, determined at a load of 2160 grams and at 190°C, as determined in accordance with ASTM D1238-13 (or ISO 1133).

    [0034] When employed in a core layer, which is often used to improve the strength and rigidity of the film, the polymer composition may employ a relatively high amount of nanoclays, such as from about 0.5 wt.% to about 20 wt.%, in some embodiments from about 1 wt.% to about 15 wt.%, and in some embodiments, from about 2 wt.% to about 10 wt.% of the polymer composition. The polymer composition may contain an ethylene polymer, such as LLDPE, LDPE, metallocene LLDPE, metallocene LDPE, EVA, etc., as well as blends of these polymers. The polymer composition may also contain an ethylene polymer having a relatively high density, such as greater than about 0.94 g/cm3, in some embodiments from about 0.945 to about 0.98 g/cm3, and in some embodiments, from about 0.95 to about 0.97 g/cm3. Once again, one or more polymers may be employed in the composition that has these characteristics. High density polyethylene ("HDPE") is particularly suitable. For example, the amount of HDPE in the core layer may range from about 1 wt.% to about 95 wt.%, in some embodiments from about from about 5% to about 90 wt.%, and in some embodiments, from about 10 wt.% to about 85 wt.%. Such high density ethylene polymers typically have a relatively high melting temperature and modulus of elasticity, which can enable them to more readily serve as a strength enhancing layer of the film. For example, the ethylene polymer may have a melting temperature of from about 70°C to about 160°C, in some embodiments from about 85°C to about 150°C, and in some embodiments, from about 110°C to about 145°C, and a modulus of elasticity of from about 700 to about 5,000 MPa, in some embodiments from about 750 to about 3,000 MPa, and in some embodiments, from about 1,000 to about 2,000 MPa, as determined in accordance with ASTM D638-10. The ethylene polymer may also have a melt flow index of from about 0.1 to about 100 grams per 10 minutes, in some embodiments from about 0.5 to about 50 grams per 10 minutes, and in some embodiments, from about 1 to about 40 grams per 10 minutes, determined at a load of 2160 grams and at 190°C, as determined in accordance with ASTM D1238-13 (or ISO 1133).

    [0035] Multilayer films may be prepared by co-extrusion of the layers, extrusion coating, or by any conventional layering process. Any of a variety of techniques may generally be employed to form the film of the present invention. In certain embodiments, for example, the components of the film (e.g., ethylene polymer, nanoclay, compatibilizer, etc.) may be individually supplied to a film forming system and blended together as the film is being formed. In such cases, the nanoclay may be in the form of a powder containing particles, such as described above. Alternatively, however, it is may be desirable to pre-blend the ethylene polymer, nanoclay, and/or compatibilizer to form a masterbatch, which is then subsequently supplied to the film forming system. Without intending to be limited by theory, it is believed such a multi-step process can allow the nanoclay to be more uniformly oriented, thereby even further enhancing ductility. When supplied, the nanoclay may itself be in the form of a masterbatch, which may contain nanoclay particles blended with a polymer (e.g., ethylene polymer), or in the form of a powder containing particles.

    [0036] To form a masterbatch, for example, the components may initially be supplied to twin screw extruder that includes co-rotating screws rotatably mounted and received within a barrel (e.g., cylindrical barrel), which may be heated. The components are moved downstream from a feed end to a discharge end by forces exerted by rotation of the screws. The ratio of the length to outer diameter ("L/D") of the screws may be selected to achieve an optimum balance between throughput and blend uniformity. For example, too large of an L/D value may increase the retention time to such an extent that the nanoclay degrades beyond the desired level. On other hand, too low of an L/D value may not result in the desired degree of blending or mixing. Thus, the L/D value is typically from about 25 to about 60, in some embodiments from about 35 to about 55, and in some embodiments from about 40 to about 50. The speed of the screws may also be selected to achieve the desired residence time, shear rate, melt processing temperature, etc. Generally, an increase in product temperature is observed with increasing screw speed due to the additional mechanical energy input into the system. The frictional energy results from the shear exerted by the turning screw on the materials within the extruder and results in the fracturing of large molecules. This results in lowering the apparent viscosity and increasing the melt flow rate of the finished material. For example, the screw speed may range from about 50 to about 400 revolutions per minute ("rpm"), in some embodiments from about 100 to about 300 rpm, and in some embodiments, from about 120 to about 280 rpm. As a result, melt processing may occur at a temperature of from about 100°C to about 500°C, in some embodiments, from about 150°C to about 350°C, and in some embodiments, from about 150°C to about 300°C. Typically, the apparent shear rate during melt processing may range from about 300 seconds-1 to about 10,000 seconds-1, in some embodiments from about 500 seconds-1 to about 5000 seconds-1, and in some embodiments, from about 800 seconds-1 to about 1200 seconds-1. The apparent shear rate is equal to 4Q/

    R3, where Q is the volumetric flow rate ("m3/s") of the polymer melt and R is the radius ("m") of the capillary (e.g., extruder die) through which the melted polymer flows. Of course, other variables, such as the residence time during melt processing, which is inversely proportional to throughput rate, may also be controlled to achieve the desired blending.

    [0037] Once formed, the pre-blended masterbatch may be supplied to a film-forming system. Any known technique may be used to form a film from the compounded material, including blowing, casting, flat die extruding, etc. In one particular embodiment, the film may be formed by a blown process in which a gas (e.g., air) is used to expand a bubble of the extruded polymer blend through an annular die. The bubble is then collapsed and collected in flat film form. Processes for producing blown films are described, for instance, in U.S. Patent Nos. 3,354,506 to Raley; 3,650,649 to Schippers; and 3,801,429 to Schrenk et al., as well as U.S. Patent Application Publication Nos. 2005/0245162 to McCormack, et al. and 2003/0068951 to Boggs, et al. In yet another embodiment, however, the film is formed using a casting technique.

    [0038] Referring to Fig. 1, for instance, one embodiment of a method for forming a cast film is shown. In this embodiment, the pre-blended masterbatch is supplied to an extruder 80 for melt processing. To help achieve good alignment and orientation of the nanoclay, it is typically desired to use a single screw extruder during film formation. Such single screw extruders are typically divided into three sections along the length of the screw. The first section is a feed section where the solid material is introduced to the screw. The second section is a melting section where a majority of the melting of the solid occurs. Within this section, the screw generally possesses a tapered diameter to enhance melting of the polymer. The third section is the mixing section, which delivers the molten material in a constant amount for extrusion. The L/D ratio for the screw is typically from about 5 to about 50, in some embodiments from about 10 to about 40, and in some embodiments from about 15 to about 35. Such L/D ratios may be readily achieved in a single screw extruder by using mixing section(s) that constitute only a small portion of the length of the screw. The screw speed may likewise range from about 5 to about 150 rpm, in some embodiments from about 10 to about 100 rpm, and in some embodiments, from about 20 to about 80 rpm. As a result, melt processing may occur at a temperature of from about 100°C to about 500°C, in some embodiments, from about 150°C to about 350°C, and in some embodiments, from about 150°C to about 300°C.

    [0039] Once formed, the extruded material may be immediately chilled and cut into pellet form. In the embodiment of Fig. 1, the extruded material is cast onto a casting roll 90 to form a single-layered precursor film 10a. If a multilayered film is to be produced, the multiple layers are co-extruded together onto the casting roll 90. The casting roll 90 may optionally be provided with embossing elements to impart a pattern to the film. Typically, the casting roll 90 is kept at temperature sufficient to solidify and quench the sheet 10a as it is formed, such as from about 20 to 60°C. If desired, a vacuum box may be positioned adjacent to the casting roll 90 to help keep the precursor film 10a close to the surface of the roll 90. Additionally, air knives or electrostatic pinners may help force the precursor film 10a against the surface of the casting roll 90 as it moves around a spinning roll. An air knife is a device known in the art that focuses a stream of air at a very high flow rate to pin the edges of the film.

    [0040] Once cast, the film 10a may then be optionally oriented in one or more directions to further improve film uniformity and reduce thickness. In the case of sequential orientation, the "softened" film is drawn by rolls rotating at different speeds of rotation such that the sheet is stretched to the desired draw ratio in the longitudinal direction (machine direction). If desired, the uniaxially oriented film may also be oriented in the cross-machine direction to form a "biaxially oriented" film. For example, the film may be clamped at its lateral edges by chain clips and conveyed into a tenter oven. In the tenter oven, the film may be reheated and drawn in the cross-machine direction to the desired draw ratio by chain clips diverged in their forward travel.

    [0041] Referring again to Fig. 1, for instance, one method for forming a uniaxially oriented film is shown. As illustrated, the precursor film 10a is directed to a film-orientation unit 100 or machine direction orienter ("MDO"), such as commercially available from Marshall and Willams, Co. of Providence, Rhode Island. The MDO has a plurality of stretching rolls (such as from 5 to 8) which progressively stretch and thin the film in the machine direction, which is the direction of travel of the film through the process as shown in Fig. 1. While the MDO 100 is illustrated with eight rolls, it should be understood that the number of rolls may be higher or lower, depending on the level of stretch that is desired and the degrees of stretching between each roll. The film may be stretched in either single or multiple discrete stretching operations. It should be noted that some of the rolls in an MDO apparatus may not be operating at progressively higher speeds. If desired, some of the rolls of the MDO 100 may act as preheat rolls. If present, these first few rolls heat the film 10a above room temperature. The progressively faster speeds of adjacent rolls in the MDO act to stretch the film 10a. The rate at which the stretch rolls rotate determines the amount of stretch in the film and final film weight. The resulting film 10b may then be wound and stored on a take-up roll 60. While not shown here, various additional potential processing and/or finishing steps known in the art, such as slitting, treating, aperturing, printing graphics, or lamination of the film with other layers (e.g., nonwoven web materials), may be performed without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

    III. Laminates



    [0042] Although by no means required, it may be desirable in certain cases to laminate an additional material to the nanocomposite film of the present invention, such as fibrous webs (e.g., nonwoven webs), other films, foams, strands, etc. Exemplary polymers for use in forming nonwoven web materials may include, for instance, polyolefins, e.g., polyethylene, polypropylene, polybutylene, etc.; polytetrafluoroethylene; polyesters, e.g., polyethylene terephthalate and so forth; polyvinyl acetate; polyvinyl chloride acetate; polyvinyl butyral; acrylic resins, e.g., polyacrylate, polymethylacrylate, polymethylmethacrylate, and so forth; polyamides, e.g., nylon; polyvinyl chloride; polyvinylidene chloride; polystyrene; polyvinyl alcohol; polyurethanes; polylactic acid; copolymers thereof; and so forth. If desired, biodegradable polymers, such as those described above, may also be employed. Synthetic or natural cellulosic polymers may also be used, including but not limited to, cellulosic esters; cellulosic ethers; cellulosic nitrates; cellulosic acetates; cellulosic acetate butyrates; ethyl cellulose; regenerated celluloses, such as viscose, rayon, and so forth. It should be noted that the polymer(s) may also contain other additives, such as processing aids or treatment compositions to impart desired properties to the fibers, residual amounts of solvents, pigments or colorants, and so forth. If desired, the nonwoven facing used to form the laminate may itself have a multi-layer structure. Suitable multi-layered materials may include, for instance, spunbond/meltblown/spunbond (SMS) laminates and spunbond/meltblown (SM) laminates. Various examples of suitable SMS laminates are described in U.S. Patent Nos. 4,041,203 to Brock et al.; 5,213,881 to Timmons, et al.; 5,464,688 to Timmons, et al.; 4,374,888 to Bornslaeger; 5,169,706 to Collier, et al.; and 4,766,029 to Brock et al. The basis weight of the nonwoven facing may generally vary, such as from about 5 grams per square meter ("gsm") to 120 gsm, in some embodiments from about 10 gsm to about 70 gsm, and in some embodiments, from about 15 gsm to about 35 gsm. When multiple nonwoven web materials, such materials may have the same or different basis weights.

    IV. Applications



    [0043] The film of the present invention is particularly suitable for use as a packaging film, such as an individual wrap, packaging pouches, bundle films, or bags for the use of a variety of articles, such as food products, paper products (e.g., tissue, wipes, paper towels, etc.), absorbent articles, etc. Various suitable pouch, wrap, or bag configurations for absorbent articles are disclosed, for instance, in U.S. Patent Nos. 6,716,203 to Sorebo, et al. and 6,380,445 to Moder, et al., as well as U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2003/0116462 to Sorebo, et al.

    [0044] The present invention may be better understood with reference to the following examples.

    Test Methods


    Mechanical Properties:



    [0045] The strip tensile strength values were determined in substantial accordance with ASTM Standard D638-99. A constant-rate-of-extension type of tensile tester was employed. The tensile testing system was an MTS Synergy 200 tensile frame. The tensile tester was equipped with TESTWORKS 4.08B software from MTS Corporation to support the testing. The load cell was 100 Newtons. The film samples were initially cut into dog-bone shapes with a center width of 3.0 mm before testing. The samples were held between grips having a front and back face measuring 25.4 millimeters x 76 millimeters. The grip faces were rubberized, and the longer dimension of the grip was perpendicular to the direction of pull. The grip pressure was pneumatically maintained at a pressure of 40 pounds per square inch (280 kPa). The tensile test was run using a gauge length of 18.0 millimeters and a break sensitivity of 40%. Five samples were tested by applying the test load along the machine-direction and five samples were tested by applying the test load along the cross direction. During the test, samples were stretched at a crosshead speed of about 127 millimeters per minute until breakage occurred. The modulus, peak stress, peak elongation (percent strain at break), and energy per volume at break were measured in the machine direction ("MD") and cross-machine directions ("CD").

    Noise Level:



    [0046] Noise levels of film samples may be tested in an apparatus comprised of a test chamber, a control chamber, and a sound level meter. The purpose of the apparatus is to manipulate an article in a controlled noise environment, and to accurately quantify the noise produced by the movement of the sample. In general terms, a sample is physically deformed within the test apparatus to generate a noise level. As used herein, the "noise level" refers to the equivalent continuous noise level (referred to as "LEQ" or "LAT"), which is the time average sound level (expressed in units of dB) as determined according to the following equation:

    p0 is a reference pressure level (typically 20 µPa);

    pA is the acquired sound pressure;

    t is time;

    t1 is the start time for measurement; and

    t2 is the end time for measurement.



    [0047] This value is also described in IEC 61672-1 (2013).

    [0048] The testing apparatus is illustrated in Figs. 7-9. The testing apparatus 200 includes a test chamber 201 and a control chamber 202. The test chamber 201 includes a door 203, a top wall 204, a bottom wall 205, two side walls 206 and 207, and a rear wall 208. The door and each wall are constructed of 0.25-inch (0.635 cm) thick 6061 grade anodized aluminum. The door 203 and rear wall 208 are each 36 inches (91.4 cm) in height and 24 inches (61.0 cm) in width. The test chamber side walls 206 and 207 are each 36 inches (91.4 cm) high and 18 inches (45.7 cm) wide. The test chamber top and bottom panels are each 24 inches wide (61.0 cm) and 18 inches (45.7 cm) long. The interior surface of the door 203 and each wall 204-208 has applied thereto two-inch (5.1 cm) thick polyurethane sound-dampening foam 209, available from Illbruck Inc. under the brand name SONEX and stock number SOC-2. As shown, a sound level meter support 216 extends perpendicularly outward from side wall 206 just below a microphone orifice 217. The microphone orifice 217 is positioned 14.5 centimeters above the floor of the bottom wall 205, and is further centered between the door 203 and the rear wall 208. The sound level meter support 216 is constructed of aluminum and is bolted (not shown) to side wall 206. The control chamber 202 includes a front wall 230, two side walls 231 and 232, a top wall 233, and a bottom wall 234. Each wall is constructed of 0.125-inch (0.3175 cm) thick 6061 grade anodized aluminum. The front wall 230 is 36 inches (91.4 cm) high and 24 inches (61.0 cm) wide. The control chamber side walls 231 and 232 are each 36 inches high (91.4 cm) and 12 inches (30.5 cm) wide. The control chamber top and bottom walls 233 and 234 are each 24 inches (61.0 cm) wide and 12 inches (30.5 cm) long. The control chamber 202 is bolted (not shown) to the outer surface of rear wall 208 along seam 270 (Fig. 8). The outer surface of the rear wall 208, and the front wall 230, two side walls 231 and 232, top wall 233, and bottom wall 234 of the control chamber 202 are each coated with 0.600-inch (1.524 cm) thick sound insulating material, part number NYC-600BE, available from Small Parts, Inc. The testing apparatus 200 further includes a sound level meter 220 (Fig. 9), such as a model 1900, equipped with a model OB-100 octave filter set, both available from Quest Technologies, a company having offices in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. The sound level meter is supported by a model QC-20 calibrator and QuestSuite master module software, each also available from Quest Technologies. The software is installed on a personal computer (not shown). During operation of the testing apparatus, the sound level meter 220 rests in the sound level meter support 216. The sound level meter includes a microphone 221 extending 4.75 inches (12 centimeters) therefrom.

    [0049] Although by no means required, the apparatus may also contain features for automatically deforming a sample during a test. For example, the apparatus may contain a lower slide bracket 210, a six-inch (15.24 cm) high Series A1500 Model available from Velmex, Inc., which extends from the bottom wall 205 into the test chamber 201, and a lower clamp 211 that is affixed to the lower slide bracket 210. An eyelet 212 (Fig. 9) may optionally extend from the top wall 204 into the test chamber 201, and an optional lanyard 213 extends through the eyelet 212. One end of the lanyard 213 extends into the test chamber 201, and has an upper clamp 214 affixed thereto. The other end of the lanyard 213 extends into the control chamber 202 through a lanyard orifice 215, which is 5/8 inch (16 mm) in diameter. The lanyard may be a premium-braid, 80-lb (36.3 kg) test Spiderwire®, part number SB80G-300, manufactured by Johnson Worldwide Associates (JWA), Inc.

    [0050] Prior to testing a specimen using the testing apparatus 200, the following steps are followed:
    1. 1. Calibrate the sound level meter 220 following the instructions in the manufacturer's manual.
    2. 2. Insert the full length of the microphone 221 into the testing chamber 201 (it should extend past the wall and sound dampening material approximately 2.5 inches (6.35 cm)), positioned at a 90-degree angle to side wall 206. Allow the sound level meter 220 to rest in the sound level meter support 216.
    3. 3. Activate the sound level meter per the manufacturer's instruction manual. This will collect the ambient noise inside the cavity of the test chamber 200.
    4. 4. Set the octave filter to 2,000 or 4,000 Hz and take a reading for each test conducted by activating the sound level meter until the testing has been completed.


    [0051] Having calibrated the testing apparatus 200 and having identified the ambient noise, five (5) specimens of a film sample may then be physically deformed approximately 15 to 20 centimeters from the microphone within the test apparatus.

    [0052] The film samples in the Examples below were manually deformed as follows:
    1. 1. Open the dominant hand with the palm facing upward;
    2. 2. Place the film sample in the palm of the dominant hand;
    3. 3. Compress the test specimen by making a gentle fist;
    4. 4. Quickly open the hand and release the test specimen; and
    5. 5. Repeat this four (4) more times to equate to five (5) film "crumples."


    [0053] Regardless of the manner of physical deformation, the tests ranged between 1 to 2 seconds in duration. All tests involved starting the sound level meter, completing the respective product manipulation, and then stopping the sound level meter. The chamber door was allowed to remain open during testing to accommodate the arms and hands of the tester, as well as the motions of the product manipulation protocols. The ambient noise outside of the apparatus was quiet and was the same during calibration (including measuring the ambient noise level) and testing of the sample.

    CONTROL 1



    [0054] A film layer was formed from Dowlex™ EG 2244G using a HAAKE Rheomex® 252p single screw extruder and a 6" (15 cm) cast film die. Dowlex™ EG2244G is a linear low density polyethylene having a melt flow index of 1.0 g/10 minutes at 190°C (Dow Chemical). The screw had a diameter of 19.05 mm and an L/D of 25 (L is the screw length). A chill roll was used to cool and flatten the polymer as it exited the cast film die. The screw speed was maintained at 60 rpm for a target thickness of 25.4 micrometers. The four controlled temperature zones from the first heating zone to the die adaptor were set at 180°C, 180°C, 180°C, and 180°C, respectively. The torque on the extruder was 24 N-m and the pressure at the die was 520 psi (3.6 MPa).

    CONTROL 2



    [0055] A film layer was formed as described in Control 1, except that the target thickness was 12.7 micrometers and the screw speed was about 30 rpm.

    CONTROL 3



    [0056] A film layer was formed from DPDA-3320 N7 using a HAAKE Rheomex® 252p single screw extruder and a 6" (15 cm) cast film die. DPDA-3320 N7 is a high density polyethylene having a melt flow index of 2.0 g/10 minutes at 190°C (Dow Chemical). The screw had a diameter of 19.05 mm and an L/D of 25 (L is the screw length). A chill roll was used to cool and flatten the polymer as it exited the cast film die. The screw speed was maintained at 40 rpm for a target thickness of 12.7 micrometers. The four controlled temperature zones from the first heating zone to the die adaptor were set at 170°C, 180°C, 185°C, and 190°C, respectively. The torque on the extruder was 20 N-m and the pressure at the die was 493 psi (3.4 MPa).

    CONTROL 4



    [0057] A film layer was formed from 80% Dowlex™ EG 2244G as described in Control 1, and 20% DPDA-3320 N7 using a HAAKE Rheomex® 252p single screw extruder and a 6" (15 cm) cast film die. The screw had a diameter of 19.05 mm and an L/D of 25 (L is the screw length). A chill roll was used to cool and flatten the polymer as it exited the cast film die. The screw speed was maintained at 40 rpm for a target thickness of 12.7 micrometers. The four controlled temperature zones from the first heating zone to the die adaptor were set at 170°C, 180°C, 185°C, and 190°C, respectively. The torque on the extruder was 15 N-m and the pressure at the die was 638 psi (4.4 MPa).

    EXAMPLE 1



    [0058] A film layer was formed from 90 wt.% of a first masterbatch and 10 wt.% of a second masterbatch. The first masterbatch was formed by dry blending 80 wt.% Dowlex™ 2244G (LLDPE) and 20 wt.% DPDA-3320 N7 (HDPE) and the second masterbatch was formed by dry blending 80 wt.% NanoMax™ LDPE (Nanocor, Inc.) and 20 wt.% NanoMax™ HDPE (Nanocor, Inc.). NanMax™ LDPE contains 50 wt.% Nanomer™ nanoclay (quaternary ammonium surface-modified montmorillonite), 30 wt.% LDPE, and 20% LDPE grafted with maleic anhydride. NanoMax™ HDPE contains 50 wt.% Nanomer™ nanoclay and 30 wt.% HDPE and HDPE grafted with maleic anhydride. The materials were delivered through two K-Tron gravimetric feeders and melt blended together using a Werner & Pfleiderer (W&P) ZSK-30 co-rotating, twin screw extruder. The extruder had 14 processing barrels, with 13 heated barrels. Three barrels are open barrels. The outer diameters of the screws were 30 mm and the inner screw diameters were 21.3 mm. The lengths of the screws were 1328 mm and the total processing section length was 1338 mm. The zones had a processing temperature of 171°C, 181°C, 188°C, 190°C, 191°C, 195°C, and 200°C, respectively. The melt temperature was about 224°C and the pressure was about 260-290 psi (1.8 to 2.0 MPa). The compounding speed in the twin screw extruder was set as 250 rpm.

    [0059] Once formed, the blends were formed into a film layer using a HAAKE single screw extruder as described in Control 1. The screw speed was maintained at 35 rpm for a target thickness of 12.7 micrometers. The four controlled temperature zones from the first heating zone to the die adaptor were set at 190°C, 200°C, 200°C, and 200°C, respectively. The torque on the extruder was 12 N-m and the pressure at the die was 406 psi (2.8 MPa).

    EXAMPLE 2



    [0060] A film layer was formed from 90 wt.% of a first masterbatch and 10 wt.% of a second masterbatch. The first masterbatch was formed by dry blending 60 wt.% Dowlex™ 2244G (LLDPE) and 40 wt.% DPDA-3320 N7 (HDPE) and the second masterbatch was formed by dry blending 60 wt.% NanoMax™ LDPE and 40 wt.% NanoMax™ HDPE. The materials were delivered through two K-Tron gravimetric feeders and melt blended together using a Werner & Pfleiderer (W&P) ZSK-30 co-rotating, twin screw extruder as described in Example 1. The zones had a processing temperature of 166°C, 183°C, 191°C, 190°C, 191°C, 195°C, and 201°C, respectively. The melt temperature was about 227°C and the pressure was about 220-340 psi (1.5 to 2.3 MPa). The compounding speed in the twin screw extruder was set as 250 rpm. Once formed, the blends were formed into a film layer using a HAAKE single screw extruder as described in Control 1. The screw speed was maintained at 33 rpm for a target thickness of 12.7 micrometers. The four controlled temperature zones from the first heating zone to the die adaptor were set at 190°C, 200°C, 200°C, and 200°C, respectively. The torque on the extruder was 14 N-m and the pressure at the die was 406 psi (2.8 MPa).

    EXAMPLE 3



    [0061] A film layer was formed from 90 wt.% of a first masterbatch and 10 wt.% of a second masterbatch. The first masterbatch was formed by dry blending 40 wt.% Dowlex™ 2244G (LLDPE) and 60 wt.% DPDA-3320 N7 (HDPE) and the second masterbatch was formed by dry blending 40 wt.% NanoMax™ LDPE and 60 wt.% NanoMax™ HDPE. The materials were delivered through two K-Tron gravimetric feeders and melt blended together using a Werner & Pfleiderer (W&P) ZSK-30 co-rotating, twin screw extruder as described in Example 1. The zones had a processing temperature of 169°C, 177°C, 191°C, 191°C, 190°C, 195°C, and 200°C, respectively. The melt temperature was about 225°C and the pressure was about 280-320 psi (1.9 to 2.2 MPa). The compounding speed in the twin screw extruder was set as 250 rpm. Once formed, the blends were formed into a film layer using a HAAKE single screw extruder as described in Control 1. The screw speed was maintained at 35 rpm for a target thickness of 12.7 micrometers. The four controlled temperature zones from the first heating zone to the die adaptor were set at 190°C, 200°C, 200°C, and 200°C, respectively. The torque on the extruder was 16 N-m and the pressure at the die was 435 psi (3.0 MPa).

    EXAMPLE 4



    [0062] A film layer was formed from 90 wt.% of a first masterbatch and 10 wt.% of a second masterbatch. The first masterbatch was formed by dry blending 20 wt.% Dowlex™ 2244G (LLDPE) and 80 wt.% DPDA-3320 N7 (HDPE) and the second masterbatch was formed by dry blending 20 wt.% NanoMax™ LDPE and 80 wt.% NanoMax™ HDPE. The materials were delivered through two K-Tron gravimetric feeders and melt blended together using a Werner & Pfleiderer (W&P) ZSK-30 co-rotating, twin screw extruder as described in Example 1. The zones had a processing temperature of 170°C, 180°C, 190°C, 191°C, 190°C, 195°C, and 200°C, respectively. The melt temperature was about 226°C and the pressure was about 280-320 psi (1.9 to 2.2 MPa). The compounding speed in the twin screw extruder was set as 250 rpm. Once formed, the blends were formed into a film layer using a HAAKE single screw extruder as described in Control 1. The screw speed was maintained at 35 rpm for a target thickness of 12.7 micrometers. The four controlled temperature zones from the first heating zone to the die adaptor were set at 190°C, 200°C, 200°C, and 200°C, respectively. The torque on the extruder was 16 N-m and the pressure at the die was 420 psi (2.9 MPa).

    [0063] The film layers of Examples 1-4 were then conditioned overnight at 23 ± 2°C and 50 ± 5% RH and subjected to mechanical testing as described above. The results are set forth below in Table 1.
    Table 1: Mechanical Properties
    ExampleLLDPE (wt.%)LDPE (wt.%)HDPE (wt.%)Wt. Ratio of (LLDPE + LDPE) / HDPENanoclay (wt.%)Avg. Peak Stress (MPa)Avg. Peak Elongation (%)Avg. Modulus (MPa)Avg. Energy Per Volume at Break (J/cm3)
    MDCDMDCDMDCDMDCD
    Control 4 60 - 40 1.5 - 57 28 365 782 211 221 82 106
    1 72 4 19 4.0 5 52 28 340 850 230 210 93 126
    2 54 3 38 1.5 5 55 29 330 900 280 280 98 147
    3 36 2 57 0.7 5 52 29 320 930 320 340 93 158
    4 18 1 76 0.3 5 56 28 350 900 410 500 107 157


    [0064] As indicated, the mechanical properties (e.g., modulus) generally improved with the incorporation of nanoclay.

    EXAMPLE 5



    [0065] Film layers were formed from blends containing various percentages of LLDPE (Dowlex™ EG 2244G) and a nanoclay masterbatch (Nanocor™ available from Nanocor, Inc.), as reflected below in Table 2. The nanoclay masterbatch contained 50 wt% Nanomer™ nanoclay (quaternary ammonium surface-modified montmorillonite) and 30 wt.% low density polyethylene and 20% maleic anhydride grafted polyethylene. The blends were formed using a Werner & Pfleiderer (W&P) ZSK-30 co-rotating, twin screw extruder. The extruder had 14 processing barrels, with 13 heated barrels. Three barrels are open barrels. The outer diameters of the screws were 30 mm and the inner screw diameters were 21.3 mm. The lengths of the screws were 1328 mm and the total processing section length was 1338 mm. The zones had a processing temperature of 170°C, 180°C, 190°C, 190°C, 190°C, 190°C, and 180°C, respectively. The melt temperature was about 202°C and the pressure was about 60-80 psi (0.4 to 0.6 MPa). The compounding speed in the twin screw extruder was set as 250 rpm.

    [0066] Once formed, the blends were formed into a film layer having a target thickness of 28 micrometers using a HAAKE single screw extruder as described in Control 1. The resulting samples were then conditioned overnight at 23 ± 2°C and 50 ± 5% RH and subjected to mechanical testing as described above. The results are set forth below in Table 2.
    Table 2: Mechanical Properties of the Films of Example 5
     LLDPE (wt.%)Nanoclay Masterbatch (wt.%)Avg. Peak Stress (MPa)Avg. Peak Elongation (%)Avg. Modulus (MPa)Avg. Energy Per Volume at Break (J/cm3)
    MDCDMDCDMDCDMDCD
    Control 1 100 - 36 26 544 759 61 55 76 87
    Example 5 96 4 41 31 625 859 116 115 99 111
    90 10 40 34 591 903 128 143 105 140
    84 16 40 33 581 873 165 154 112 138


    [0067] As indicated, the mechanical properties (e.g., peak elongation) generally improved with the incorporation of nanoclay. In the machine direction (MD), a higher amount of nanoclay led to a slightly lower strain-at-break and higher elastic modulus due to the rigid nature of nanoclay, but the elongation in MC and CD are still higher than the control film without nanoclay, although the peak stress was approximately the same.

    [0068] The film of Example 5 (10 wt.% nanoclay masterbatch) was also analyzed using X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. The results are shown in Figs. 2-3. As depicted in Fig. 2, only a small peak was observed at an angle of about 7°, which indicates that only a small portion of the nanoclay remained unexfoliated or undispersed. This is further evidenced by the transmission electron microphotographs shown in Fig. 3. Namely, Fig. 3(a) shows that the nanoclay was well dispersed in the film and Fig. 3(b) shows that the nanoclay was exfoliated into single platelets (Fig. 3(b)) and dispersed in orientation. Minor nanoclay clusters were also seen in the film as represented by the circles.

    [0069] Dynamic rheology testing was also performed on Control 1 and the samples containing 4 wt.%, 10 wt.%, and 16 wt.% of the nanoclay masterbatch. The results are shown in Figs. 4-6. In the terminal (low frequency) zone, the neat LLDPE melt demonstrated a typical liquid like behavior - logarithmic storage modulus (G') vs. logarithmic frequency (γ) showed a smooth linear relationship (lower curve in Fig. 4). The remaining films containing the nanoclay masterbatch not only exhibited much higher G' and complex viscosity (η*) values than neat LLDPE, but also demonstrated drastically different terminal behaviors. Irrespective of frequency, G' increased monotonically with increasing nanoclay content in the blends (Fig. 4). The viscoelastic response of the blends was mainly altered at low frequencies, where G' exhibited weak frequency dependences (Fig. 4). The small slope of log(G') vs. log(γ) in the films containing 10 wt.% nanoclay masterbatch (labeled as "90/10") and 16 wt.% masterbatch (labeled as "84/16") indicates a significant pseudo-solid-like behavior of the melt. This result suggests that an interconnected network structure of anisometric filler - a characteristic solid or gel-like structure had formed in the system. From Fig. 4, it can be seen that the reduction of the slope of log(G') vs. log(γ) with respect to the neat polymer became phenomenal at 10% nanoclay masterbatch ("90/10"), suggesting the critical content of nanoclay for the percolation threshold.

    [0070] On the other hand, in the terminal zone the plots of log(η*) vs. log(γ) changed from a Newtonian (primary) plateau (lower curve in Fig. 5) for the neat LLDPE to a clear shear-thinning behavior for the blends, providing more evidence of elastic behavior due to the solid network structure of nanoclay. Further evidence of the formation of a pseudo-solid-like network of percolated threads is also noted in Fig. 6, where variations of storage modulus (G') and loss modulus (G") of the blend films vs. γ are compared. The nanofilms with a low nanoclay content (e.g., 4 wt.% nanoclay, "96/4") displayed a lower G' than G" over the whole frequency range. However, with the buildup of network structure, in the terminal zone G' exceeded G" due to the pseudo-solid like behavior. At higher frequencies, crossover of G' and G" was noted, which was probably due to the destruction of the network structure at high shear rates. Expectedly, the crossover of G' and G" was observed for all those nanofilms with nanoclay contents equal to or higher than 10%. It is worth mentioning that the crossover point shifted to higher frequency with more nanoclay in the blends, as can been seen by the blue arrows in Fig. 6.

    EXAMPLE 6



    [0071] Film layers were formed as described in Example 5, except that the target thickness was 12.7 micrometers. The results are set forth below in Table 3.
    Table 3: Mechanical Properties of the Films of Example 6
     LLDPE (wt.%)Nanoclay Masterbatch (wt.%)Avg. Peak Stress (MPa)Avg. Peak Elongation (%)Avg. Modulus (MPa)Avg. Energy Per Volume at Break (J/cm3)
    MDCDMDCDMDCDMDCD
    Control 2 100 - 35 26 391 818 103 39 53 75
    Example 6 96 4 37 29 452 809 137 129 68 91
    90 10 44 28 404 852 185 133 80 97
    84 16 41 24 435 810 146 144 82 84
    78 22 61 25 351 765 245 200 119 106
    72 28 51 22 294 631 291 233 88 80
    66 34 52 19 254 540 396 250 88 67


    [0072] As indicated, the mechanical properties (e.g., peak elongation) generally improved with the incorporation of nanoclay. In the machine direction (MD), a higher amount of nanoclay led to a slightly lower strain-at-break and higher elastic modulus due to the rigid nature of nanoclay, although the peak stress was approximately the same.

    EXAMPLE 7



    [0073] Film layers were formed from a blend containing 96 wt.% Dowlex™ EG 2244G and 4 wt.% of a Nanocor™ masterbatch. The blend was formed using a Werner & Pfleiderer (W&P) ZSK-30 co-rotating, twin screw extruder as described in Example 5, except that the screw speed was 150 rpm. The blend was formed into film having a target thickness of 27.94 micrometers and 12.7 micrometers using a HAAKE single screw extruder as described in Control 1 and 2. The resulting samples were then conditioned overnight at 23 ± 2°C and 50 ± 5% RH and subjected to mechanical testing as described above. The results are set forth below in Table 4.
    Table 4: Mechanical Properties of the Films of Example 7
     Thickness (µm)LLDPE (wt.%)Nanoclay Masterbatch (wt.%)Avg. Peak Stress (MPa)Avg. Peak Elongation (%)Avg. Modulus (MPa)Avg. Energy Per Volume at Break (J/cm3)
    MDCDMDCDMDCDMDCD
    Control 1 27.94 100 - 36 26 544 759 61 55 76 87
    Control 2 12.70 100 - 35 26 391 818 103 39 53 75
    Example 7 27.94 96 4 41 33 641 912 121 120 98 127
    12.70 96 4 41 29 473 815 154 122 72 99

    EXAMPLE 8



    [0074] A film layer was formed from a blend containing 93 wt.% Dowlex™ EG 2244G, 5 wt.% Nanomer™ 1.44P (quaternary ammonium surface-modified montmorillonite), and 2 wt.% of Fusabond® MB-528D, which is a graft copolymer of polyethylene and maleic anhydride available from DuPont. The film layer was formed on a HAAKE single-screw extruder. The screw had a diameter of 19.05 mm and an L/D of 25 (L is the screw length). A chill roll was used to cool and flatten the polymer as it exited the cast film die. The screw speed was maintained at 20 rpm. The four controlled temperature zones from the first heating zone to the die adaptor were set at 180°C, 180°C, 180°C, and 190°C, respectively. The die pressure was 19 bar and the torque was 7 N-m.

    EXAMPLES 9-15



    [0075] Various films were formed from the film of Example 8 and one or more additional film layers. The additional film layers were formed on a HAAKE single-screw extruder using the materials and conditions set forth below:
    FilmMaterialSpeed (RPM)Zone 1 (°C)Zone 2 (°C)Zone 3 (°C)Die Temp (°C)Die pressure (Bar)Torque (N·m)
    A 100% Dowlex™ EG 2244G 20 180 180 180 190 27 17
    B 100% M3661 20 180 180 180 190 15 7
    C 100% DPDA-3220 N 7 20 180 180 180 190 24 12
    D 100% Escorene™ Ultra LD 706.15 50 180 180 180 190 20 7
    E 100% Vistamaxx™ 3980 10 180 180 180 190 11 5


    [0076] M3661 is a polypropylene available from Total Petrochemicals USA (Houston, TX). DPDA-3220 N 7 is a high density polyethylene with a melt flow of 2.0 g/10 minutes at 190°C, and available from Dow Chemical Company (Midland, MI). Escorene™ Ultra LD 706.15 is ethylene vinyl acetate ("EVA") available from ExxonMobil (Houston, TX). Vistamaxx™ 3980, a propylene-based elastomer available from ExxonMobil (Houston, TX).

    [0077] The films were formed using a 15-ton hydraulic Carver press. The press had two platens set at 205°F (96°C). The dwell time was 2 minutes under a 13,000-lb (6,000 kg) force. The films had the following configurations:
    Example1st Outer LayerCore Layer2nd Outer Layer
    9 Film A Film of Example 8 Film A
    10 Film C Film of Example 8 Film C
    11 Film A Film of Example 8 Film C
    12 Film A - Film of Example 4
    13 Film of Example 4 Film A Film of Example 4
    14 Film D Film of Example 8 Film D
    15 Film E Film of Example 8 Film E


    [0078] Once formed, the films were conditioned at 75°F (24°C)/50% relative humidity. After conditioning 24 hours, the films were removed from conditioning and subjected to mechanical testing as described above. The results are set forth below in Table 5.
    Table 5: Mechanical Properties of the Films of Examples 9-15
    Example Thickness (mil) (µm)Peak Stress (MPa)Peak Elongation (%)Modulus (MPa)Energy per Volume at Break (J/cm3)
    9 MD 1.8 (46) 41 408 165 79
    CD 2.1 (53) 14 428 332 46
    10 MD 1.9 (48) 20 327 295 57
    CD 1.3 (33) 5 65.6 46 3
    11 MD 1.9 (48) 21 253 226 33
    CD 1.9 (48) 9 445 272 36
    12 MD 1.3 (33) 6 198 98 11
    CD 1.4 (36) 5 66 46 3.0
    13 MD 2.0 (51) 9 412 159 28
    CD 2.1 (53) 6 122 149 14
    14 MD 4.7 (120) 9 450 57 33
    CD 5.1 (130) 8 429 61 28
    15 MD 1.3 (33) 12 473 94 39
    CD 1.2 (30) 13 494 859 32

    EXAMPLE 16



    [0079] A film layer was formed from a blend containing 90 wt.% Dowlex™ EG 2244G and 10 wt.% of a nanoclay masterbatch. The nanoclay masterbatch contained a blend of 50 wt.% Clayton™ HY, 30 wt.% Dowlex EG2244G, and 20 wt.% of Fusabond® MB-528D. Clayton™ HY is an organoclay powder treated with quaternary ammonium solution and is available from BYK Additives, Inc. (Gonzales TX). The nanoclay masterbatch was formed on a Thermo Prism USALab16 co-rotating twin screw microextruder (Thermo Electron Corporation; Stone, England) having an L/D ratio of 40:1. The LLDPE and Fusabond® components were fed through the pellet feeders and the Clayton™ HY organoclay powder was fed using a powder feeder. The processing temperatures along the 10-zone extruder were 170°C, 180°C, 185°C, 180°C, 185°C, 185°C, 185°C, 185°C, 185°C, and 180°C, respectively. The melt pressure was about 30 psi (210 kPa) and the compounding speed was 100 rpm. The LLDPE and nanoclay masterbatch were thereafter compounded on a ZSK-30 twin screw extruder as described in Example 5. A film layer was thereafter produced from the resulting blend using a HAAKE single-screw extruder as described in Control 1.

    EXAMPLE 17



    [0080] A film layer was formed as described in Example 16, except that the nanoclay used is Cloisite™ 15A, instead of Clayton™ HY.

    EXAMPLE 18



    [0081] A film layer was formed as described in Example 16, except that the nanoclay used is Cloisite™ 30B, instead of Clayton™ HY.

    EXAMPLE 19



    [0082] A film layer was formed as described in Example 16, except that the nanoclay used is Cloisite™ 93A, instead of Clayton™ HY.

    EXAMPLE 20



    [0083] A film layer was formed as described in Example 16, except that the nanoclay used is Cloisite™ Na+, instead of Clayton™ HY.

    [0084] These films were conditioned at 75°F (24°C)/50% relative humidity. After conditioning 24 hours, the films were removed from conditioning and subjected to mechanical testing as described above. The results are set forth below in Table 6.
    Table 6: Mechanical Properties of the Films of Examples 16-20
    Example Thickness (mil) (µm)Peak Stress (MPa)Peak Elongation (%)Modulus (MPa)Energy per Volume at Break (J/cm3)
    16 MD 1 (25) 60±2 543±4 184±13 144±3
    CD 1 (25) 44±3 859±31 164±2 170±21
    17 MD 1 (25) 52±6 541±67 147±12 122±21
    CD 1 (25) 37±3 826±23 141±11 138±10
    18 MD 1 (25) 31±2 407±19 105±9 54±3
    CD 1 (25) 19±2 756±27 79±11 65±10
    19 MD 1 (25) 55±2 504±15 178±9 121±8
    CD 1 (25) 40±2 846±21 157±7 164±11
    20 MD 1 (25) 20±1 246±20 68±5 26±2
    CD 1 (25) 11±2 673±51 78±6 44±4

    EXAMPLE 21



    [0085] A film layer was formed as described in Example 16, except that the target thickness was 12.7 micrometers and the screw speed was about 30 rpm.

    EXAMPLE 22



    [0086] A film layer was formed as described in Example 17, except that the target thickness was 12.7 micrometers and the screw speed was about 30 rpm.

    EXAMPLE 23



    [0087] A film layer was formed as described in Example 18, except that the target thickness was 12.7 micrometers and the screw speed was about 30 rpm.

    EXAMPLE 24



    [0088] A film layer was formed as described in Example 19, except that the target thickness was 12.7 micrometers and the screw speed was about 30 rpm.

    EXAMPLE 25



    [0089] A film layer was formed as described in Example 20, except that the target thickness was 12.7 micrometers and the screw speed was about 30 rpm.

    [0090] These films were conditioned at 75°F (24°C)/50% relative humidity. After conditioning 24 hours, the films were removed from conditioning and subjected to mechanical testing as described above. The results are set forth below in Table 7.
    Table 7: Mechanical Properties of the Films of Examples 21-25
    Example Thickness (mil) (µm)Peak Stress (MPa)Peak Elongation (%)Modulus (MPa)Energy per Volume at Break (J/cm3)
    21 MD 0.5 (13) 71±4 355±29 250±53 120±5
    CD 0.5 (13) 38±2 832±16 178±11 156±6
    22 MD 0.5 (13) 56±1 335±39 176±11 85±7
    CD 0.5 (13) 28±2 790±35 146±19 99±11
    23 MD 0.5 (13) 37±2 279±24 163±29 55±3
    CD 0.5 (13) 23±0 737±18 158±9 94±1
    24 MD 0.5 (13) 68±1 339±16 237±28 111±6
    CD 0.5 (13) 35±2 824±38 179±21 152±12
    25 MD 0.5 (13) 23±1 142±5 145±2 22±3
    CD 0.5 (13) 7±1 538±29 129±9 26±1

    CONTROL 5



    [0091] A commercial film was tested that is produced by Quanxing Plastics, Inc. The film had a basis weight of 18 grams per square meters and was cast extruded from a blend containing 35 to 45 wt.% high density polyethylene (HDPE 5070), 20 to 30 wt.% low density polyethylene (LDPE LD100AC), 25 to 35 wt.% linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE 7050), and 5 to 10 wt.% of a titanium dioxide masterbatch (1605H). A micro-embossed pattern having a depth of 1 to 5 micrometers was formed on a surface of the film.

    EXAMPLE 26



    [0092] A film was formed from a blend containing 93.5 wt.% of a polyethylene masterbatch, 4.5 wt.% of Clayton™ HY, and 2 wt.% of Fusabond® E-528, which is a graft copolymer of polyethylene and maleic anhydride available from DuPont. The polyethylene masterbatch contained 35 to 45 wt.% high density polyethylene (HDPE 5070), 20 to 30 wt.% low density polyethylene (LDPE LD100AC), 25 to 35 wt.% linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE 7050), and 5 to 10 wt.% of a titanium dioxide masterbatch (1605H). Clayton™ HY is an organoclay powder treated with quaternary ammonium solution and is available from BYK Additives, Inc. (Gonzales TX). The blend was formed using a co-rotating, twin screw extruder available from Entek®. The extruder had 14 processing barrels, with 13 heated barrels. Three barrels are open barrels. The outer diameter of the screws was 53 mm. The processing temperatures along the extruder were set as 175°C and the compounding speed in the twin extruder was set as 700 rpm. The resultant strands were cooled in a water bath with 15 feet (4.6 m) length in total. The cooled strand was then pelletized and collected for the following film processing.

    [0093] A film was thereafter produced from the resulting blend using a single-screw extruder. The extruder has 8 processing barrels, with 7 heated barrels with temperatures ranging from 175-210°C.

    [0094] The screw speed was adjusted between 66.5 and 68.6 rpm depending on the required film thickness. The corresponding line speed was adjusted between 85 and 90 meters per minute. The resulting film had a basis weight of 13.5 grams per square meter. A micro-embossed pattern having a depth of 1 to 5 micrometers was formed on a surface of the film.

    EXAMPLE 27



    [0095] A film was formed as described in Example 26, except that a deep embossing pattern having a depth of 5 to 15 micrometers was formed on the surface.

    [0096] The films of Control 5, Example 26, and Example 27 were then tested for noise level as described herein. The tested films were rectangular and had a size of 13.5 centimeters by 28.0 centimeters. The results are shown in Table 8 below.
    Table 8: Noise Level of Films at 4,000 Hz
     Noise Level (dB)Normalized Noise Level
    Control 5 46.0 2.6
    Example 26 39.6 2.2
    Example 27 38.0 2.1
    Ambient 17.7 -


    [0097] As indicated above, the film of Examples 26 and 27 showed considerable reduction in noise level compared with the control sample.

    EXAMPLE 28



    [0098] A blown film was formed from a blend containing 84.5 wt.% Dowlex™ EG 2047G, 4.5 wt.% of Clayton™ HY, 2.0 wt.% of Fusabond® E-528, and 9.0 wt.% Ampacet® 110313 (color additive, Ampacet Corporation). The blend was formed using a co-rotating, twin screw extruder. The extruder had 14 processing barrels, with 13 heated barrels having a length of 210 mm. The outer diameter of the screws was 53 mm. The processing temperatures along the extruder were set as 180°C and the compounding speed in the twin extruder was set as 750 rpm. The polyethylene was fed through one pellet feeder, the Fusabond® with Ampacet® additives were fed through another pellet feeder; and the nanoclay was fed through a powder throat feeder. The film was formed on a single screw extruder with a monolayer blown film die. The line speed was 175 pounds (80 kg) per hour and the thicknesses of films were controlled at 1.5 mils (38 µm). The melt temperature was controlled within range of 175-185°C.

    [0099] The oxygen transmission rate of the film was determined to be 277 cm3/in2∗24 hours. A control sample containing only 95 wt.% Dowlex™ 2047G with 5 wt.% Ampacet® was also formed. The oxygen transmission rate of the control film sample was determined to be 392 cm3/in2∗24 hours.

    [0100] While the invention has been described in detail with respect to the specific embodiments thereof, it will be appreciated that those skilled in the art, upon attaining an understanding of the foregoing, may readily conceive of alterations to, variations of, and equivalents to these embodiments. Accordingly, the scope of the present invention should be assessed as that of the appended claims and any equivalents thereto.


    Claims

    1. A packaging film having a thickness of about 50 micrometers or less, the film containing a core layer that is positioned adjacent to an outer layer, wherein the core layer, the outer layer, or both are formed from a polymer composition, the polymer composition containing from about 70 wt.% to about 99 wt.% of an ethylene polymer, from about 0.1 wt.% to about 20 wt.% of a nanoclay having an organic surface treatment, and from 0.05 wt.% to about 15 wt.% of a polyolefin compatibilizer that contains an olefin component and a polar component;
    wherein the organic surface treatment includes a quaternary onium..
     
    2. The packaging film of claim 1, wherein the ethylene polymer includes a copolymer of ethylene and an α-olefin, or wherein the ethylene polymer includes linear low density polyethylene, low density polyethylene, high density polyethylene, or a mixture thereof.
     
    3. The packaging film of claim 1, wherein the nanoclay includes a phyllosilicate, preferably wherein the phyllosilicate includes a montmorillonite or a salt thereof.
     
    4. The packaging film of claim 1, wherein the nanoclay includes platelets having an average thickness of from about 0.2 to about 100 nanometers.
     
    5. The packaging film of claim 1, wherein the polar component of the compatibilizer includes maleic anhydride.
     
    6. The packaging film of claim 1, wherein the film exhibits a normalized peak elongation in the machine direction of about 15%/µm or more; or
    wherein the film exhibits a normalized peak elongation in the cross-machine direction of about 40%/µm or more; or
    wherein the film exhibits a normalized ultimate tensile strength in the machine direction and/or cross-machine direction of from about 0.5 to about 20 MPa/µm; or
    wherein the film exhibits a normalized Young's modulus in the machine direction and/or cross-machine direction of from about 5 to about 50 MPa/µm.
     
    7. The packaging film of claim 1, wherein the film exhibits a normalized noise level of about 2.5 or less as determined at a frequency of 4,000 Hz, wherein the normalized noise level is determined by dividing the noise level of the film by the noise level of an ambient environment; or
    wherein the film exhibits an oxygen transmission rate of about 350 cm3/in2∗24-hours or less.
     
    8. The packaging film of claim 1, wherein the outer layer contains the polymer composition.
     
    9. The packaging film of claim 8, wherein the ethylene polymer includes linear low density polyethylene, low density polyethylene, ethylene copolymer, or a combination thereof.
     
    10. The packaging film of claim 8, wherein the nanoclay constitutes from about 0.1 wt.% to about 15 wt.% of the polymer composition.
     
    11. The packaging film of claim 1, wherein the core layer contains the polymer composition.
     
    12. The packaging film of claim 11, wherein the ethylene polymer includes high density polyethylene, preferably wherein high density polyethylene constitutes from about 10 wt.% to about 85 wt.% of the polymer composition.
     
    13. The packaging film of claim 11, wherein the nanoclay constitutes from about 0.5 wt.% to about 20 wt.% of the polymer composition.
     
    14. The packaging film of claim 11, wherein the polymer composition includes a blend of low density polyethylene, linear low density polyethylene, and a high density polyethylene.
     
    15. The packaging film of claim 1, wherein the film is a blown film or wherein the film is a cast film.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verpackungsfolie mit einer Dicke von etwa 50 Mikrometer oder weniger, wobei die Folie eine Kernschicht enthält, die benachbart zu einer äußeren Schicht positioniert ist, wobei die Kernschicht, die äußere Schicht oder beide aus einer Polymerzusammensetzung ausgebildet sind, wobei die Polymerzusammensetzung etwa 70 Gew.-% bis etwa 99 Gew.-% eines Ethylenpolymers, etwa 0,1 Gew.-% bis etwa 20 Gew.-% eines Nanotons mit einer organischen Oberflächenbehandlung und 0,05 Gew.-% bis etwa 15 Gew.-% eines Polyolefin-Kompatibilisators enthält, der eine Olefinkomponente und eine polare Komponente enthält;
    wobei die organische Oberflächenbehandlung ein quaternäres Onium beinhaltet.
     
    2. Verpackungsfolie nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Ethylenpolymer ein Copolymer von Ethylen und ein α-Olefin beinhaltet, oder wobei das Ethylenpolymer ein lineares Polyethylen mit niedriger Dichte, Polyethylen mit niedriger Dichte, Polyethylen mit hoher Dichte oder ein Gemisch davon beinhaltet.
     
    3. Verpackungsfolie nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Nanoton ein Schichtsilikat beinhaltet, bevorzugt wobei das Schichtsilikat ein Montmorillonit oder ein Salz davon beinhaltet.
     
    4. Verpackungsfolie nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Nanoton Plättchen mit einer durchschnittlichen Dicke von etwa 0,2 bis etwa 100 Nanometern beinhaltet.
     
    5. Verpackungsfolie nach Anspruch 1, wobei die polare Komponente des Kompatibilisators Maleinsäureanhydrid beinhaltet.
     
    6. Verpackungsfolie nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Folie eine normalisierte Spitzenlängung in der Maschinenrichtung von etwa 15 %/µm oder mehr aufweist; oder
    wobei die Folie eine normalisierte Spitzenlängung in der Quermaschinenrichtung von etwa 40 %/µm oder mehr aufweist; oder
    wobei die Folie eine normalisierte ultimative Zugfestigkeit in der Maschinenrichtung und/oder Quermaschinenrichtung von ca. 0,5 bis ca. 20 Mpa/µm aufweist; oder
    wobei die Folie ein normalisiertes Young'sches Modul in der Maschinenrichtung und/oder Quermaschinenrichtung von ca. 5 bis ca. 50 MPa/µm aufweist.
     
    7. Verpackungsfolie nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Folie einen normalisierten Rauschpegel von ca. 2,5 oder weniger aufweist, wie bei einer Frequenz von 4.000 Hz ermittelt, wobei der normalisierte Rauschpegel durch Teilen des Rauschpegels der Folie durch den Rauschpegel einer umgebenden Umgebung ermittelt wird; oder
    wobei die Folie eine Sauerstoffdurchlässigkeitsrate von ca. 350 cm3/Zoll2∗24 Stunden oder weniger aufweist.
     
    8. Verpackungsfolie nach Anspruch 1, wobei die äußere Schicht die Polymerzusammensetzung enthält.
     
    9. Verpackungsfolie nach Anspruch 8, wobei das Ethylenpolymer ein lineares Polyethylen mit niedriger Dichte, Polyethylen mit niedriger Dichte, Ethylencopolymer oder eine Kombination davon beinhaltet.
     
    10. Verpackungsfolie nach Anspruch 8, wobei der Nanoton von ca. 0,1 Gew.-% bis ca. 15 Gew.-% der Polymerzusammensetzung darstellt.
     
    11. Verpackungsfolie nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Kernschicht die Polymerzusammensetzung enthält.
     
    12. Verpackungsfolie nach Anspruch 11, wobei das Ethylenpolymer ein Polyethylen mit hoher Dichte beinhaltet, bevorzugt wobei das Polyethylen mit hoher Dichte von ca. 10 Gew.-% bis ca. 85 Gew.-% der Polymerzusammensetzung darstellt.
     
    13. Verpackungsfolie nach Anspruch 11, wobei der Nanoton von ca. 0,5 Gew.-% bis ca. 20 Gew.-% der Polymerzusammensetzung darstellt.
     
    14. Verpackungsfolie nach Anspruch 11, wobei die Polymerzusammensetzung eine Mischung aus Polyethylen mit niedriger Dichte, linearem Polyethylen mit niedriger Dichte und Polyethylen mit hoher Dichte beinhaltet.
     
    15. Verpackungsfolie nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Folie eine geblasene Folie ist oder wobei die Folie eine gegossene Folie ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Film d'emballage ayant une épaisseur d'environ 50 micromètres ou moins, le film contenant une couche centrale qui est positionnée adjacente à une couche externe, dans lequel la couche centrale, la couche externe, ou les deux, sont formées à partir d'une composition polymère, la composition polymère contenant d'environ 70% en poids à environ 99% en poids d'un polymère d'éthylène, d'environ 0,1% en poids à environ 20% en poids d'une nanoargile ayant un traitement de surface organique, et de 0,05% en poids à environ 15% en poids d'un compatibilisateur de polyoléfine qui contient un composant oléfinique et un composant polaire ;
    dans lequel le traitement de surface organique comprend un onium quaternaire.
     
    2. Film d'emballage selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le polymère d'éthylène comprend un copolymère d'éthylène et une α-oléfine, ou dans lequel le polymère d'éthylène comprend du polyéthylène linéaire à basse densité, du polyéthylène à basse densité, du polyéthylène à haute densité ou un mélange de ceux-ci.
     
    3. Film d'emballage selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la nanoargile comprend un phyllosilicate, de préférence dans lequel le phyllosilicate comprend une montmorillonite ou un sel de celle-ci.
     
    4. Film d'emballage selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la nanoargile comprend des plaquettes ayant une épaisseur moyenne de 0,2 à 100 nanomètres.
     
    5. Film d'emballage selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le composant polaire du compatibilisateur comprend de l'anhydride maléique.
     
    6. Film d'emballage selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le film présente une élongation de crête normalisée dans le sens machine d'environ 15%/µm ou plus ; ou
    dans lequel le film présente une élongation de crête normalisée dans le sens transversal machine d'environ 40%/µm ou plus ; ou
    dans lequel le film présente une résistance à la traction ultime normalisée dans le sens machine et/ ou dans le sens transversal machine d'environ 0,5 à environ 20 MPa/µm ; ou
    dans lequel le film présente un module de Young normalisé dans le sens machine et/ ou dans le sens transversal machine d'environ 5 à environ 50 MPa/µm.
     
    7. Film d'emballage selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le film présente un niveau de bruit normalisé d'environ 2,5 ou moins tel que déterminé à une fréquence de 4 000 Hz, dans lequel le niveau de bruit normalisé est déterminé par la division du niveau de bruit du film par le niveau de bruit d'un environnement ambiant ; ou
    dans lequel le film présente un taux de transmission d'oxygène d'environ 350 cm3/in2∗24 heures ou moins.
     
    8. Film d'emballage selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la couche extérieure contient la composition polymère.
     
    9. Film d'emballage selon la revendication 8, dans lequel le polymère d'éthylène comprend du polyéthylène linéaire à basse densité, du polyéthylène à basse densité, du copolymère d'éthylène ou une combinaison de ceux-ci.
     
    10. Film d'emballage selon la revendication 8, dans lequel la nanoargile constitue d'environ 0,1% en poids à environ 15% en poids de la composition de polymère.
     
    11. Film d'emballage selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la couche centrale contient la composition polymère.
     
    12. Film d'emballage selon la revendication 11, dans lequel le polymère d'éthylène comprend un polyéthylène à haute densité, de préférence dans lequel le polyéthylène à haute densité est d'environ 10% en poids à environ 85% en poids de la composition polymère.
     
    13. Film d'emballage selon la revendication 11, dans lequel la nanoargile constitue d'environ 0,5% en poids à environ 20% en poids de la composition de polymère.
     
    14. Film d'emballage selon la revendication 11, dans lequel la composition polymère comprend un mélange de polyéthylène à basse densité, de polyéthylène linéaire à basse densité et d'un polyéthylène à haute densité.
     
    15. Film d'emballage selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le film est un film soufflé ou dans lequel le film est un film moulé.
     




    Drawing
























    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description