Top 3 Benefits of Machine Direction-Oriented (MDO) PE Films

14 Mar.,2023


The company has a group of cooperation teams engaged in the protective film industry for many years, with dedication, innovation spirit and service awareness, and has established a sound quality control and management system to ensure product quality.

Using the MDO technology, Polyethylene films are endowed with a number of important properties. With these characteristics, flexible packaging can be readily recycled anywhere in the world. In a time when both environmental protection and product safety are incredibly important, MDO technology offers three main advantages.

Packaging made of only one material is the desire of many people. Packaging that protects the product, extends its shelf life, is compatible with the existing packaging machines in the market, and is easily recyclable in the common recycling streams around the globe. However, aspirations don’t always match reality. A quick scan of supermarket shelves shows mainly multilayer packaging made of a mixture of different types of polymers. Recycling these materials is nearly impossible!

Mono-material PE – an alternative to multilayer films

At Polysack we offer a real alternative to this reality – flexible packaging made entirely of the most used packaging polymer – polyethylene (PE). However, standard PE films are not a practical alternative to multilayer packaging. To serve as an alternative to this type of packaging the PE must be modified in order to provide the required stiffness, mechanical properties, gloss, transparency and heat resistance. This modification is achieved by a smart selection of polyethylene resins, together with a special manufacturing technology, MDO – Machine Direction Orientation. That is exactly what we do.

Machine Direction-Oriented Films – Let’s get to the basics

MDO technology is used to improve the film’s properties. With this technology MDO film is formed by stretching the film in machine direction (MD), the path in which the film is extruded. Stretching takes place in several steps as soon as the film has been extruded. In the first step, the film is heated. By going through a set of rollers, revolving at different speeds, the film is stretched in the desired direction. Lastly, after orientation, the film is cooled and annealed in order to relieve stress and set its properties.

From diaper films to food packaging

The orientation manufacturing process has been around for a while. It is mainly common in manufacturing LDPE (Low Density PE) films for the diaper industry. LDPE is a soft polymer, with low crystallinity, that is relatively easy to stretch. These properties make it suitable for diapers, but not for packaging. Therefore, at Polysack we specialize in manufacturing flexible packaging based on HDPE (High Density PE). Compared to LDPE, this High-Density PE is a stiffer polymer, with a higher crystallinity level. This polymer is also more challenging when it comes to stretching and requires special skills, and at the same time its basic properties are suitable for flexible packaging.

Let’s examine three notable benefits of this technology and how it helps us protect the planet.

Improved properties, the immediate benefit of MDO technology

While the intrinsic properties of HDPE are relatively good, its manufacturing using conventional methods does not produce the required results. The orientation process is what improves its performance:

  • High film stiffness
  • High TD (Transverse Direction) tear strength combined with MD (Machine Direction) easy tear
  • High transparency and gloss
  • Improved thermal resistance
  • Excellent printability

Due to the film’s high stiffness, packaging downgauging is possible – in other words, using a thinner film with the appropriate properties. Thus, raw materials are saved, and transport, logistics, and other costs are also reduced.

Sustainability is our constant focus

The main advantage of MDO film is that it can be used to manufacture mono-polymer packaging. At the end of its life cycle, the packaging can easily be recycled and disposed of responsibly and environmentally. The raw material is not disposed in a landfill or burned to produce energy, but rather serves us for other applications.

Another advantage of MDO PE film is the reduced carbon footprint of this packaging type. Manufacturing a thin film consumes less fossil fuel resources, and the logistics and energy costs of transporting the film are also reduced, further decreasing emissions.

Finally, this technology is also fully suitable for polyethylene film from renewable sources. Thus, it is indeed possible to manufacture MDO packaging that is 100% green – both recyclable and from a renewable source!

MDO PE films are versatile!

MDO film is suitable for almost any packaging machine, as it has excellent machinability and does not require machine changes or unnecessary development costs. Additionally, the film can be used to make a wide range of packaging for diverse products such as:

Our team will be glad to assist with finding a film that meets your needs. We invite you to join the eco-friendly packaging movement.

Want more information on protective film? Click the link below to contact us.