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 Adhesive Applications In many respects the flexible


packaging producer has a wide range of lamination methods, adhesives and technologies to select from. For instance: wet bond adhesive lamination involving crosslinking acrylic-vinyl acetate copolymers emulsion are often chosen for snack food applications such as crisps. UV curable acrylics and acrylates, epoxies, olyethylene, silicones and vinyl ester may be the way to go for certain flexible packaging products, bearing in mind that at least one of the laminate webs is of high transparency for UV penetration. Dry bond lamination remains an option where plastic films need to be laminated for meat and cheese slices and blocks and for demanding boil-in-the-bag pouch applications. It is worth noting the alternatives


to laminating adhesives such as the heat seal coatings, which in certain circumstances are appropriate. Heat seal coatings are applied to a substrate via a coater and then wound up into a roll. This roll of coated material can then be unwound at a later date and the heat seal can be adhered to another substrate surface using just heat and pressure. An advantage of this type of adhesive coating is that it does not have to bond immediately as with a traditional laminating adhesive. It also means that bonding is a distinctive separate and controllable operation. RK Print Coat Instruments has supplied a pilot coating, printing and laminating system to a converter for a heat-sealing application involving the laying down of both printed and coated lacquers in discrete patterns. There are many other adhesives


that are widely used and which sectors such as packaging would find difficult to manage without. Hot melts are one of the most dynamic areas of adhesive production. Hot melts made a commercial debut in the 1960s where they were first used on low speed case sealing equipment for the securing of flaps of corrugated boxes. Adhesive technology has progressed and they can now be confidently employed in high speed production environments. They are used for the manufacture of laminated wood panels, kitchen counter tops and bonding non-woven fabrics. Hot melt lamination of EVA, LDPE and block copolymers of styrene, butadiene or isoprene can be used for the sealing of film laminated


convertermag.com


frozen food packs. Hot melts are suitable for the attachment of polyethylene base cups to soft drink structures and for PS-tapes, labels and promotional/security stickers and POS displays. Hot melts form a strong bond


and are compatible with most materials. They are less sensitive to water, moisture and humidity than many other types of adhesives. In the past performance could be compromised by close proximity to a source of heat and temperature, which could loosen the adhesive bond strength. The introduction of polyurethane reactive hot melts, the PUR’s, which offer good resistance to heat once cured has addressed the problem. Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer and polyethylene (PE) homo polymers with metallocene hot melts will be familiar to many packaging converters. Widely used for general packaging these melts are highly suited for packaging that is destined for the freezer, applications where the adhesive must be creep resistant and able to sustain temperature extremes. Hot melt adhesive coating can be


undertaken on RK Print Coat Instruments new VCML-Lab/Pilot coater. Hot melt via extrusion coating or via gravure coating are amongst the systems and application technologies that can be integrated in with RK’s bespoke high-tech VCM pilot/production coater. The VCML-Lab/Pilot coater can


print, coat and laminate on all types of flexible substrates and on a reel to reel basis. In addition to providing the user with a range of selectable print and coat options, it offers short run capability which makes it ideal for product development, quality control, for trialling new or unfamiliar materials and for resolving process and production problems as they arise. Touch screen controlled and with


a web width of 300mm, the VCML- Lab/Pilot coater can be configured for hot air drying, infrared and UV curing. Corona treatment, edge guide, heated laminator and ATEX coating zone can also be integrated in with the system. The VCML-Lab/Pilot coater may be an ideal choice for organisations and departments that face frequent product changes, where formulations and processes need to be trialled and where flexibility is a key system requirement .


rkprint.com July/ August 2020 15





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