Cork Tech Talk Blog

Why Replace Petroleum Based Extrusion Coated Polyethylene?

More and more printers and converters are responding to requests for paper and paperboard coatings that can replace petroleum based extrusion coated polyethylene (PE) or Poly Replacement. Alternative barrier coating products that are safe for the environment are in favor due to brand marketers, legislative, political and consumer pressure.

Read more: Poly (PE) Replacement Barrier Coatings and Test Methods

Opening Aqueous Coatings 

Aqueous coatings may be thermoplastic or thermoset, emulsion or solution polymer blends. The major volatile component is water along with small percentages of other volatile items. Some of these, such as ammonia or amine can evaporate and accumulate in the headspace of a sealed container, therefore opening is best done in a well ventilated area. 

Read more: Aqueous Coatings: Storing, Handling & Using

Growth of Digital Printing 

Digital printing has advanced continually since its introduction in the 1970’s. Electrophotography and inkjet having been the beneficiaries of the majority of development money spent on printing technology. Great improvements have followed in speed, quality, reliability, and scalability leading to new applications. 

Read more: Inkjet, The Engine behind Digital Printing Growth

WVTR & MVTR Permeation 

Many packaged products are sensitive to moisture. Therefore, control of water vapor into or out of the package is critical to the contained product’s quality. The permeability of packaging materials has a direct effect on a packages performance in terms of the contained products shelf-life. This permeation by moisture is measured by WVTR (water vapor transmission rate) or MVTR (moisture vapor transmission rate). The primary purpose of packaging is to get the packaged product to the customer in one piece and suitable for consumption. Packaging plays many roles, containing and protecting products during distribution, storage, and use, while also promoting, educating, and selling. 

Read more: Moisture and Water Vapor Transmission Rates in Packaging

Aqueous Blister Coatings Take Over 

Talk about a market change over! It wasn’t too many years ago that the blister card market was dominated by solvent based blister card coatings. Not only has the blister card market grown by leaps and bounds, but the dominating solvent based blister card coatings have been replaced by aqueous blister coatings. Additionally, what was formerly exclusively an off-line post print, second pass roller coating business has yielded more and more to higher productivity, inline, print/one bump coat production. Litho printers have for some time eyed the blister packaging market wanting to participate totally, and now they are. 

Read more: Aqueous Blister Coatings Printed In-line

Why Prop 65? 

In California, Prop 65 requires the state to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm. The law requires a warning label on anything containing these. Benzophenone was listed in 2012. Benzophenone (BP) or Benzo, has been generally recognized as the most used Photoinitiator (PI) globally. It is known for its effectiveness as an initiator, and its relative low cost. UV printing ink and coating manufacturers have responded by replacing low molecular weight, high migration potential PIs. As a result, benzophenone & ITX free formulations have been made available, notably for food packaging. In other moves, raw material suppliers continue to develop self-curing resin solutions, new large molecule, low migration, low odor polymeric photoinitiators (PPIs), and co initiators. Significantly, these changes have become price drivers for UV curing products. 

Read more: California Prop 65 UV Coatings

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About the Author

Elmer W. Griese Jr, having accumulated 35+ years of knowledge working in the coatings and printing ink industries has now authored the Cork Tech Talk News, newsletter since 1992 producing 112 issues. He remains dedicated to educating and illuminating technological progress that offers the potential to advance coating technology and its applications.

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