Packaging Materials

Current Raw Materials

Surprisingly there are few raw material types currently available for flexible packaging. Paper, PET, aluminium, PE and OPP cover over 90% of all applications. However, there are numerous designs, formulations, thicknesses, etc. for each raw material type.  For instance, OPP has hundreds of variations in formulation available in the market.

Raw Material Abbreviations

Abbreviation Description
Alu Aluminium foil
BOPP Biaxially orientated polypropylene, often used instead of OPP.
CPP Cast polypropylene, made using film extrusion rather than blowing. Often used as heat-sealable coatings.
HDPE High-density polyethylene
LDPE Low-density polyethylene (PE). PE with lower density than other PE types. The most frequently used PE.
LLDPE Linear low-density polyethylene. Often mixed with LDPE, to achieve a better hot-tack in sealing.
Metallisation Wafer-thin layer of vapour-deposited aluminium, which can significantly improve the barrier properties of Polyester (PET) or Orientated polypropylene (OPP).
Metallocene Term usually associated with polyethylene (PE) where polymerisation is controlled by catalysts in relation to specific requirements (Metallocene is the catalyst).
OPP Orientated polypropylene: usually in both directions (machine direction and perpendicular to machine direction), therefore also known as BOPP (biaxially orientated polypropylene).
PA Polyamide, or nylon, has excellent gas barriers and is more flexible than polyester (PET).
PE Polyethylene, a term for all polyethylene types.
PET Polyester film, highly suitable as the outer layer for various compounds.

Current Raw Materials and Their Use

Raw Material Family
 Most Frequently User For
 Typical Application
Paper Substrate in a compound (usually Paper / Alu / PE)  Soup Container
PET Substrate in a compound (usually printed on the inside facing layer to protect the print).  Coffee Container
Alu Barrier layer (100% leak-proof)  Various Containers
PE Heat-sealable coating (inside)  Various Containers
OPP Mono-material or in OPP / OPP compound  Chocolate Bars


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