CMT Materials: Essential & Sustainable



In March of 2020, the Coronavirus Pandemic hit the U.S. and changed life as we knew it. Face masks, social distancing, curbside pick-up, and food delivery became the new normal. As businesses were forced to close while Shelter-in-Place orders were issued, CMT remained open and operating above our average production level.

Why? Because we were classified as an “Essential Business”. But what makes CMT Materials “essential”?

CMT Materials manufactures HYTAC® plug assist materials that are used in the Thin Gauge Thermoforming Industry to make food and medical packaging. With PPE shortages worldwide, Thermoformers stepped up by shifting entire production lines to make face

shields and protective masks. In many instances, our customers only passed along material costs (no labor, operations or burden) in an effort to quickly outfit frontline heroes with necessary PPE. Restaurants made a pivot to take out models preventing a collapse of the food industry while safely feeding many patrons. Without a ramp up in thermoforming, this pivot would not have been possible.

How does CMT help further the sustainability mission of the plastics industry? HYTAC® allows the creation of quality parts that utilize less plastic. It is through excellent material distribution that HYTAC® plug assists enable parts to be produced with consistent (and reduced) wall and base thicknesses.

Manufacturers aren’t the only ones who benefit by a reduced starting gauge. The environment sees less plastic in landfills. By reducing starting gauge thickness, manufacturers consume less film per part while maintaining integrity of part strength.

The strong demand on the thermoforming industry required a reliable partner to provide plug assist material needed to produce consistent parts. With HYTAC® plug assists, the first part you produce will be the same as the last. The low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) means these plugs resist expansion when exposed to the heat of the thermoforming process.

Low Thermal Conductivity (TC) allows manufacturers to reduce cycle times. Where Aluminum tends to be hot or cold (very high TC), manufacturers may spend a significant amount of time and material running samples to get the correct temperature, distribution, and part clarity they are seeking. The low TC of HYTAC® improves cycle times and reduces waste of film upon startup. High quality parts are more quickly obtained saving energy and material. Sustainability continues to be at the forefront of the plastics industry. The goal is to create a circular economy where less virgin plastic is used while greater amounts of recycled materials become tomorrow’s parts. Plastics have made it possible to deliver medical supplies and food free of contamination to consumers all over the world. There is no doubt this innovative industry will create the sustainable future our planet requires.