Celebrating its centennial year as a diversified technology company, 3M, St. Paul, Minn., has mastered the art of innovation. 3M continues this tradition by packaging an existing product, 3M Fire Barrier CP 25WB+ Caulk, in flexible chub packs from Plassein International, Wilmington, Conn. A breakthrough for caulking and adhesive products, flexible chub packaging reduces packaging-material costs and promotes faster filling-line speeds. In addition to the Fire Barrier, 3M has seized this packaging concept for several other specialty caulking and adhesive products.

An alternative to cardboard and rigid-plastic dispensing tubes, flexible chub packs are gaining popularity with contractors and private homeowners. “In the North American fire-stopping industry, there is growing demand from end users for flexible chub packaging,” says George Yoshida, marketing manager, 3M Corp. “Currently, only 15 percent of the sealant industry is packaging in chub tubes, and we see significant growth potential in the conversion.”

Europe has already seen the transition from rigid tubes to flexible tubing as both manufacturers and consumers appreciate the efficiency of flexible packaging. Since 3M began packaging its first caulking products in chub packs two years ago, it has seen a significant rise in contractors and crews making adjustments to this new packaging. “We find that more and more major contractors are using both rigid-tube and flexible-chub-packaging dispensing guns,” comments Yoshida.

3M packages 3M Fire Barrier CP 25WB+ Caulk in flexible chub packs from Plassein International.

Advanced Packaging

3M teamed up with Plassein International, a leader in flexible-packaging solutions, to engineer the packaging for its Fire Barrier CP 25WB+ Caulk, a premium elastomeric latex caulk designed for use as a one-part fire, smoke, noxious gas and water sealant. In addition, the unique intumescent property of this material (expands when heated) means that as cable or pipe insulation is consumed by fire, CP 25WB+ Caulk expands to maintain the penetration seal.

Plassein has spearheaded flexible chub packaging in the North American market and incorporates over 70 years of flexible-packaging knowledge and experience. Using a unique foil and film lamination, Plassein engineered the film to provide the critical oxygen barrier needed to protect the caulking.

Plassein uses a strong polypropylene-film formulation for resistance against tears and punctures, giving the package the durability needed to withstand the rigors at job sites. “Plassein’s engineered barrier film optimizes the shelf life of the caulking, and there have been no complaints of product loss due to the package breaking or tearing,” adds Yoshida.

Rolling in the Benefits

The combination of Plassein’s advanced printing technology and use of metallics in the package structure helped to create a vibrant, finished package for 3M that attracts consumer attention in retail environments. Says Yoshida, “It was important that Plassein reproduce the 3M logo consistently across each package to project the quality of our brand. We’ve discovered that the shine of the foil enhances the appearance of the product over our opaque tubes.”

Chub packaging offers adhesive, sealant and fire-stop manufacturers cost savings in packaging materials of up to 50 percent over rigid tubes. A single pallet of chub packaging is equivalent to a truckload of rigid tubing and takes up 94 percent less plant space. This allows packagers to keep significantly more packaging in-house and decrease cycle times. Once used and emptied, chub packs also take up considerably less landfill space than rigid tubes.

Chub packs offer faster line speeds over rigid tubes with less labor involved. More efficient than hand-loading each individual rigid tube, the chub packaging is delivered fully printed on roll stock. Once loaded, it is ready to run.

“As the demand for our Fire Barrier and other caulking products packaged in flexible chub tubes continues to grow, we are confident that Plassein will support our growth through service and a superior finished package,” says Yoshida.

For more information:

For more information on flexible chub packaging, please call John Strasburg at 866-PLASSEIN; e-mailjstrasburg@plassein.com; or visit the Web sitehttp://www.plassein.com.

Additional information on Fire Barrier CP 25WB+ Caulk is available from 3M Specified Construction Products Dept., 3M Center, Building 225-4S-08, St. Paul, MN 55144-1000. Call 800-328-1687, or visit the Web site http://www.mmm.com.