Consumers’ heightened attention to personal care has led to a market value forecast to reach $95.8 billion by 2026 for deodorant products. It is a market ripe with opportunity. However, a chief concern with any type of deodorant stick or gel is packaging integrity – preserving the contents from manufacturing through transportation to the retail shelf and ultimately, to the consumer.
Grid Seal Failure
A global, Fortune 100 company that manufactures gel deodorant called Ameri-Cal Corp. when the seal they were using to cover the grid, or top of the container failed to adhere to the grid surface causing product to leak and dry out. Normally packaged in a rigid plastic container, the grid pattern on the top allows gel-style deodorant to pass through and be applied to the body. The seal needs to hold in place during shipment and retail storage yet remove cleanly after purchase by the consumer.
There are several challenges facing development of a proper seal. The container or capsules for this style of gel deodorant typically are slippery plastics with a low surface energy (LSE). The seal needs to resist the fragrance oils formulated into various scents and varieties. In addition, the face stock itself needs to be flexible and conform to the contoured or curved surface, “almost like a thicker version of food storage wrap,” said Dan Salai, Vice President of Product Development and Technology.
This type of seal requires an adhesive that will hold adequately to avoid product leakage and spoilage. The seal, once peeled off, cannot leave any adhesive residue on the product container that might rub against the skin. The adhesive also needs to be resistant to the chemical vapors that can build up and put pressure on the seal, a common circumstance that intensifies when deodorant capsules are stored in a warm environment. During transportation for example, temperatures inside the delivery vehicles can reach up to or exceed 155°F. If the seals break or ruptures, product can leak or dry out. Finally, after providing a proper barrier for product integrity, the seal should be easily removable upon purchase.
Any product related to bodily use, such as a deodorant or health and beauty item that will come in contact with the skin has to pass numerous tests and government approval, for a final product that is non-toxic and will not irritate the skin. In some of language the industry uses, materials that contact the skin must not produce “cytotoxicity, irritation or sensitization effects.”
Ameri-Cal developed a grid seal construction for this manufacturer that was flexible enough to cover the contoured surface, adhere to the LSE plastic base, and withstand the pressures and chemical vapors that can cause seal failure. Their solution combined polypropylene with a thin aluminum layer to serve as a good vapor barrier. In addition to temperature, high altitudes also can create pressure differences inside the deodorant capsule, and the seal Ameri-Cal developed was able to remain secure under high temperatures and high altitude combined, for a successful product delivery.
This particular proprietary combination of adhesive and face film backing is a unique offering from Ameri-Cal Corporation, selecting components from among tens of thousands of adhesives and myriad permutations when combined with sealant barrier materials. The selection was custom designed based on criteria from that specific customer, as are all the adhesive solutions Ameri-Cal devises to serve customer needs. “Ours was the only adhesive/seal combination that worked for this particular health and beauty manufacturer,” said Mr. Salai.
The health and beauty market, medical industry, high-end industrial applications or home goods market hold potential for a number of other, similar scenarios where a vapor barrier seal can prove useful, especially when it requires the adhesive and seal combination to provide clean removability.
Ameri-Cal can offer not only the adhesive/sealant combination expertise, but also the experience working with government agencies to formulate a product that can pass stringent testing and regulatory guidelines for skin sensitivity.
Ameri-Cal will diagnose the problem, perform the necessary analytical work and develop a solution to provide product seal security for the manufacturer. “We are known for our product reliability,” said Mr. Salai, “and for supplying viable solutions to demanding or sensitive adhesive situations.” For more information visit www.americalcorp.com or call 330-725-7735. Ameri-Cal Corporation is fully ISO 9001:2015 certified.