Finishing Equipment

Full speed ahead S

amuel Grant Packaging has launched its new Speed Boxes, brought to the market in conjunction with PackSynergy. The boxes are an ideal solution for e-commerce. They are quick to assemble, seal and open, reducing labour

costs. They are fully customisable and can be printed on, both inside and outside. The speed boxes are available in a huge range of sizes and shapes, and feature a unique tamper-proof closing system which provides peace of mind to despatchers. The boxes are made from recycled materials and are 100 per cent recyclable

themselves. There is no need for any additional tape/ closing, as their self-adhesive band provides all the strength of closure the boxes need. Samuel Grant Packaging, the North’s largest packaging distributor, became the UK arm of PackSynergy in 2018, a network of 17 leading European packaging materials distributors. Joining the group of equally innovative and entrepreneurial companies has given Samuel Grant Packaging the opportunity to mitigate the risk of supplier challenges that could be caused by Brexit, expand their distribution network further into Europe, increase their product range, and swap best practice with their European counterparts. Paper sacks provide equivalent shelf life

type was collected.” After sampling and homogenisation of the cement, the samples were subjected to different standardised test methods for measuring the quality of the cement after each storage period.

protection for cement when stored for 18 months under the same conditions. The study was conducted by the Norwegian research organisation SINTEF on behalf of the European Paper Sack Research Group (ESG), a collaboration between CEPI Eurokraft and EUROSAC. “Since cement hardens when reacting with water, perfect product protection of the packaging is vital when storing cement for a longer period of time in order to conserve its quality and properties,” explains Catherine Kerninon, General Delegate of EUROSAC. “To ensure that our industry meets the


requirements of cement producers and can compete within the packaging market for cement, we investigated the shelf life of the two sack solutions that are used most widely on the market: cement paper sacks and cement plastic sacks.” For the study, typical sack solutions of each type were

recent study found that paper sacks and form-fill-seal (FFS) polyethylene sacks provided equivalent

chosen: a standard cement paper valve sack made of two paper layers of 80 g and 70 g with a 12 μm high density polyethylene (HDPE) free film barrier, and a standard plastic sack made of three layers of COEX PE film (LDPE, HDPE and LLDPE) with a total thickness of 120 µm.

STUDY DESIGN Three sacks of each type were filled with the same type of cement and stored in an outside storage house in Norway where they were exposed to ambient weather conditions throughout the test period. The sacks were stacked on a wooden pallet and covered by a plastic stretch hood – a typical storage situation. “Although the average storage time for bagged cement in Europe is estimated to be no longer than 2 to 3 months, in our study we wanted to investigate how the sacks perform within longer storage periods of up to 18 months,” says Catherine Kerninon. “Therefore, after three different time periods, one sack of each

RESULTS DEMONSTRATED The outcome of the tests revealed: Whether total weight, level of hydration, mortar strength, initial flow behaviour or 28-day compressive strength – the quality and performance of the periodically sampled cement from both types of sacks was well within the requirements of the cement industry. “The study shows: If you want to store cement for a period of at least 18 months, paper sacks provide a good shelf life performance. They perfectly protect the quality and properties of your product,” summarises Catherine Kerninon. At the same time, paper sacks have

strong environmental credentials: their carbon footprint is 2.5 times smaller than that of plastic sacks. This is the result of another recent study by the Swedish research institute RISE.

BEST PRACTICES FOR STORING “Paper sacks are an efficient and sustainable packaging solution for powdered and loose materials like cement,” concludes Catherine Kerninon. “In order to take full advantage of these properties, we have published recommendations on how to handle industrial paper sacks properly along the supply chain.” This offers information about risks and best practices during distribution and storage to distributors and retailers. December/ January 2020 33

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