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Manufacturer of sustainable UV-curable coatings seeks to replace plastic laminate films

An Ecology Coatings Inc. spokesperson told PlasticsToday its EcoQuik UV curable coating products are capable of replacing laminate films for overprint protection on labels and packaging.

EcoQuik coatings can be applied with the same equipment used for conventional UV curable coatings, the spokesperson said. The optimum formulation chemistry maintains its reliability in high moisture environments and provides protection from thermal shock and resistance to household chemicals and paint solvents, while providing rub resistance and optical clarity.

"If laminate films are eliminated, press operations are improved by eliminating laminating film roll changes," the spokesperson said. "Also, since the coated labels are thinner, benefits such as fewer roll changes at application and reduction in shipping volume are accrued."

The materials used are primarily petroleum-based polymers such as acrylates, polyesters, and epoxies.

The Ecology spokesperson said what makes the UV curable coatings sustainable is the fact that it uses about 80% to 90% less polymer than a laminate film.

"Eliminating the adhesive required for laminated films is an additional reduction in polymer use," the spokesperson said. "Another advantage is the elimination of the noise associated with running plastic laminate and the attendant employee discomfort."

UV-curable coatings represent one of the fastest growing segments in the coating marketplace, according to Ecology. 

Chemark Consulting Group, a firm focused on the coatings, adhesives and sealants industries, stated the global UV-cured coatings market is expected to reach approximately $1.8 billion this year.

Ecology recently announced it is working with Whitlam Label Co. on the development of a sustainable labels program. Whitlam customers include Chrysler, ePrize, Ford, GM, General Electric, and Garden Fresh Gourmet.

The goal of the program is to provide sustainable labels to replace conventional plastic laminate films currently used for printed labels, according to the press release.

"Other label and packaging providers are now beginning to respond to their customers' need for new products and sustainable solutions," the spokesperson said. "They understand that embracing cutting edge technology breeds continuous improvement along with providing a competitive edge and additional market share."

TAGS: Packaging
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