Nucleating agents have been used for years to improve the physical properties of polypropylene, and even dramatically improve its aesthetics. Today, however, nucleation offers many benefits beyond aesthetics and physical properties.
New technologies in the Hyperform® family allow for fast crystallization rates and improved cycle times, delivering sped-up production times. The nucleating agents also offer superior isotropic shrinkage, leading to controlled and less warpage, and higher productivity.
One potential drawback of nucleation has been increased polypropylene shrinkage, which can cause some parts to change dimensions. However, innovations in our Hyperform additives provide a tailored and controlled approach to shrinkage/dimensions.
Hyper-nucleating can also improve aesthetics in extrusion or thermoforming applications. In many cases part width and/or processing can offer good aesthetics without the use of sorbitol-based clarifiers.
Polypropylene nucleation is not a new idea; in fact, the technology has existed since the polymer's invention. What is new is the focused effort to innovate within this area, and to increase the number of benefits that nucleation can provide.
Nucleation technologies fall into three categories: conventional, advanced, and hyper-nucleation. The information on this site focuses on hyper-nucleation and Milliken products that support it. Hyper-nucleators are the most recently developed and offer high crystallization rates and isotropic shrinkage, as well as common nucleation benefits such as increased stiffness and improved aesthetics.