Cyclic olefin copolymers (COCs) are formed by chain copolymerization of cyclic monomers with ethene. COCs exhibit remarkable optical properties, which are similar to that of glass. These materials can resist high temperature and offer excellent transparency with low bi- refractivity. The monomer content in the COC affects its properties such as stiffness, viscosity, and glass transition temperature.
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Monomers in a COC chain can be of two types, based on which COCs are classified into two groups: cyclic olefin copolymer (having different types of monomers) and cyclic olefin polymer (having a single type of monomer). However, they are termed together, due to their similar amorphous thermoplastic polymer properties.
Standard polymer processing techniques that are suitable for COCs include extrusion coating, compression molding, thermoforming, injection molding, single-screw and twin-screw extrusion, injection and stretch blow molding (ISBM), and biaxial orientation.
In order to achieve cost-effectiveness, the COC is used as a modifier for the base resin in either single-layer films or multilayer films. This provides the added properties of COCs to packaging films in addition to that of base resin (for example, polyethylene). Films made from different COC grades, which are based on ethylene and polyethylene, are employed in consumer applications such as pharmaceutical and food packaging applications.
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Advanced compositions of COCs with higher purity are light in weight, break resistant, and with excellent barrier properties, lower particle level than glass, and glass-like transparency. These factors enable their usage in short-term as well as long-term pharmaceutical containers.
Popular applications of COCs include labels, shrink films, twist films, forming films, and bubble (or protective) packaging. Pharmaceutical blister packaging is one of the applications, wherein demand for COCs in the end-product is high.
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