Latest developments from Ampacet

Innovative solutions for agricultural films

Materials - Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Plasticulture is a growing market with increasing requirements towards higher crops quality and yields to meet the needs of growing population. In order to help satisfy the market needs, Ampacet has developed a range of masterbatches for greenhouse and tunnel applications including Agristab 372, Agroclear Range, Heatscreen 34 and Thermic 337.

To protect crops from pests and diseases farmers usually apply fumigation pest control. Sulfur evaporators are one of the most commonly-used methods to fumigate greenhouses. But the use of sulfur fumigation leads to a loss of UV stabilizing properties of the greenhouse film. Photo-oxidation of sulfur deposited on the greenhouse film surface can yield acidic species, deactivating light stabilizers (Hindered Amine Light Stabilizer - HALS) and resulting in early degradation of the film and shortening greenhouse shelf life.

Typical greenhouse film containing conventional nor HALS stabilizers is designed for maximum 3,000 ppm sulfur content and three years, or four seasons, of effectiveness, while the market tends to require greenhouses with longer life-spans and higher pesticide usage, to withstand up to 5,000 ppm sulfur for a duration of more than three years.

Innovative Agristab additive technology fulfills new market requirements for a multi-season greenhouse with highly intensive pesticide usage, beyond the Spanish Committee for Plastics and Agriculture (Cepla) recommendations. Agristab 372 provides greenhouse film with outstanding resistance to pesticides, allowing usage of up to 5,000 ppm sulfur for a greenhouse that can last for more than three years. Agristab 372  also enables use of lower-gauge greenhouse films in structures and the ability to target typical pesticide usage levels of, for example, 1,500 to 3,000 ppm with lower amounts of stabilization. Agristab 372 does not affect the colour of the greenhouse film and offers excellent light transmission and optimized crop yield.

Another typical problem faced in greenhouses and low tunnels is linked to fogging phenomena.

Being aware of these reality, Ampacet has broadened its Agroclear range and introduced its new Agroclear 752 for 1 to 2 seasons greenhouses, low tunnels and early harvest crop protection films. Ampacet Agroclear 752 allows, at very low addition rates, to provide outstanding and consistent antifog properties to protection films used in agriculture and horticulture fields.  It maintains an excellent film transparency, avoids problems linked to fog formation (light transmission reduction and plant damages), optimizes plant growth and supports crop yield.

Ampacet has previously introduced Agroclear 651 (102651), an efficient antifog masterbatch technology specially designed for critical multi-seasons low tunnels and greenhouses films providing a very long term antifogging effect.

Heatscreen 34 provides a “cooling” effect to greenhouses used under very hot climate conditions, limits overheating of the greenhouses inner atmosphere and avoids dehydration of the plants. This enables an optimized plant growth.

Thermic 337 retains a maximum heat inside the greenhouse and low tunnels during the night by blocking the far infrared spectrum emitted by the ground, providing a “thermic” effect. This allows the greenhouse or low tunnels inner atmosphere temperature to achieve an additional 1 to 3°C during the night leading to a higher plant growth rate, higher yield and anticipated harvest.

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