What is Fluorination?

We’ve talked about fluorination in the past, but here’s a quick reminder: fluorination is the process of adding a chemical barrier to existing plastic containers. The process allows manufacturers to package liquid products in plastic containers that may otherwise negatively react with the chemicals in the products. Fluorination helps to prevent paneling, distortion, and other chemical reactions between the product and container.

What is Fluorination Used For?

Fluorination is often used for packaging that contains harsh contents like industrial chemicals, household cleaners, paint thinners, automotive products, and more. However, fluorination is also popular with packaging used to contain milder contents, like flavors and fragrances.

Why Fluorinate Flavor and Fragrance Packaging?

Although flavors and fragrances are less harsh than other products commonly associated with fluorination, these products require fluorinated containers for many reasons.

Fluorination for Flavor Packaging

Although artificial flavors aren’t considered “harsh chemicals,” it’s still important to keep the flavor away from plastics to avoid having a plastic taste in the finished food item. When a container that is being used to package flavors is fluorinated, it creates a barrier between the plastic and the flavor, helping it keep the flavor from embedding into the plastic or permeating into the plastic materials. Fluorinated packaging also helps the flavor to keep its potency longer in storage.

5-gallon tighthead container for flavor packaging. Flavorings are often contained in tight-head containers, which can be fluorinated easily.

Most flavor products are stored in 5-gallon tight-head containers or in smaller, 1-gallon plastic containers. These packaging options can easily be fluorinated if they are made with HDPE, LDPE, or PP plastics.

Fluorination for Fragrance Packaging

Like flavor products, most fragrances are also stored in 5-gallon tight-head containers. Since fragrances are often used in products applied to the skin, like cosmetics, perfumes, colognes, and other personal care products, it is crucial to ensure the product stays pure when packaged and stored.

Like flavorings, fragrances are not considered harsh chemicals, but still benefit from being contained in fluorinated plastics. Not only does fluorination prevent fragrances from being absorbed into the plastic and altering their smell, fluorination also helps maintain freshness and potency of fragrance products.

Mister and spray bottles for fragrance and essential oils packaging Fragrances and essential oils can go off quickly when stored in a non-fluorinated plastic container.

Another product category that benefits from fluorinated containers is essential oils. Essential oils have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years and are often sold individually or as ingredients of another product. Many essential oils, like peppermint oil for example, last much longer in fluorinated containers. Since essential oils can be quite valuable (5 gallons of peppermint oil is worth $50,000!), packaging it in a container that will extend its shelf life is the only logical choice.

Our Fluorination Partner

When it comes to fluorination services for our packaging options, we have partnered with the best in the industry, Inhance Technologies. Their Fluoro-Seal Process allows conventional plastics to be used for hydrocarbon barrier applications that last a lifetime. The best part? You don’t lose any of the core benefits of conventional plastics when using this process – no compromises on recyclability, reduced material costs, reduced weight, or durability.

The Fluoro-Seal Process can be used on almost all plastics and complex parts of any shape or size can be treated, so there’s no need to redesign your current packaging.

Interested in learning more about our fluorinated packaging capabilities? Contact one of our knowledgeable packaging solutions specialists online or call us at (800) 915-2262 to get started.