BASF and Tân Hùng Cơ Masterbatch Manufacture Co. have teamed up to produce more durable greenhouse films.
Tân Hùng Cơ, a manufacturer of additive masterbatches for plastic films in Vietnam, is now using BASF’s plastic additive Tinuvin NOR 371 to increase durability and lifespan of plastic greenhouse films made from low density polyethylene.
With Tinuvin NOR 371, greenhouse films can withstand weathering for at least three to four years, says BASF.
The government of Vietnam has announced a VND100 trillion (approximately $4.4 billion) package to develop hi-tech agriculture.
Better flower and fruit varieties are being developed, and field production is gradually moving towards protected cultivation, precision and automatic irrigation, computerised crop management systems, and applying greenhouse technologies.
To get the most out of greenhouse technologies, light stabilisers need to be added to the polymer during manufacturing of greenhouse films.
These stabilisers make the films resistant to the intense sunlight and heat that develops at the contact points with the metallic greenhouse frame. Without them, plastic films can become brittle and break within a few weeks.
“Natural weathering conditions affect the durability of polymers used outdoors, and greenhouse film poses an additional challenge because of the crop protection agents used in greenhouses,” said Hermann Althoff, Senior Vice President, of BASF’s Performance Chemicals unit in Asia Pacific.
Tinuvin NOR 371 provides durability to greenhouse films by preventing degradation from ultraviolet (UV) rays, thermal stress and oxidation.
With durable films that last for several seasons, farmers can cover greenhouses for growing chrysanthemums, roses and strawberries for the export market – thereby increasing yields of profitable crops.
Additionally, Tinuvin NOR 371 helps to ensure greenhouse films can be used in a variety of growing conditions.
Although the sulphur compounds approved as agricultural products to prevent and combat fungal diseases are ecologically safe, chemically they deactivate the light stabilisers and accelerate their breakdown.
To counter this deactivation of light stabilisers, stabilisers for greenhouse films are added which are particularly resistant to sulphur compounds and other agrochemicals.