Date ArticleType
2/27/2019 Member News
Solventless Laminating Adhesive Captures 2019 AIMCAL Technology Of The Year

Solventless Laminating Adhesive Captures 2019 AIMCAL Technology Of The Year

By Contributing Editor Hallie Forcinio 

The Assn. of International Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL) presented its 2019 Technology of the Year Award tonight at an Awards Ceremony on the opening day of its Annual Meeting (Feb. 26-28, 2019) at the Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa in Palm Springs, CA.

The 2019 AIMCAL Technology of the Year Award goes to PacAcel™ adhesive, a solventless, food-grade, sustainable adhesive family from The Dow Chemical Co., (Lake Jackson, TX). Benefits of the patented and patent-pending polyurethane-based, two-part formulas include excellent metallized film/foil adhesion, excellent heat and product resistance, fast room-temperature curing, elimination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oven drying for improved energy efficiency, long pot life for easy cleaning and compatibility with high line speeds. The adhesive strongly adheres to most flexible packaging substrates. Potential applications include flexible packaging for fresh food, dry food, coffee, ready meals, hot-fill liquids, aggressive alcohol-, acid- or oil-containing foods, pharmaceuticals and medical and industrial products. Eliminating solvent allows converters to improve production efficiency by more than 50%, reduce cost-in-use and meet strict global food regulatory requirements.

The judging panel was impressed with the ability of a solvent-free chemistry to deliver performance equivalent or better than traditional solvent-based adhesives. Solvent-free chemistry not only eliminates VOC emissions but also the drying step and the heat, energy and cost associated with drying. The entry also scored sustainability points since it eliminates the need to dispose of solvent. “This will impact the next generation of laminators,” summed up one judge.

The judges also designated a Technical Excellence Award. It was earned by PET-F-HBP-M high-barrier polyester film from Flex Films (USA), Inc. (Elizabethtown, KY), a subsidiary of Uflex, Ltd.'s Films Business (Noida, India). The 12-micron structure (high optical density metal layer/corona treatment/biaxially oriented polyester/modified coating) is designed to replace foil in barrier laminations for food packaging and offers the potential for cost savings as well as longer product shelf life due to less chance of pinholes. The structure also offers superior gloss.

The judges were impressed with the potential for foil replacement and the improved barrier properties, particularly in water vapor transmission. “This film moves polyester into a range where it can replace foil, which is what most foods need for protection,” noted one judge. “Until now, polyester couldn’t perform like this,” commented another member of the panel.

The judging teleconference was moderated by AIMCAL Executive Director Craig Sheppard. The panel consisted of well-known experts in the converting field: Dr. Charles A. Bishop of C.A. Bishop Consulting (Loughborough, UK); Dr. Edward D. Cohen of Edward D. Cohen Consulting, Inc. (Fountain Hills, AZ); and Dr. Eldridge M. Mount of EMMOUNT Technologies, LLC (Canandaigua, NY).

Industry Partners