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FLEXO Magazine : End of Year 2008
www.flexomag.com YEAR END 2008 Sustainable FLEXO THE RIGHT MIX Now let's go back to the earlier comment about using soy protein wherever possible. Both soy protein polymers and acrylic polymers have positive and negative attributes. In many cases, the best solution is to co-blend, utilizing the advantages both prod- ucts have to offer. In fact, many ink companies have the ability to do just that: formulate inks that contain the soy required for ASA certification while still meeting the performance requirements set forth by your application. There might be instances where implementing soy could be more of a concern, such as direct print on flexible films like polyethylene and foils, which require inks with excellent water resistance and fast dry times. In ap- plications such as preprint, however, soy can bring great benefits and should be considered as a viable option. The most important thing to remember is that you must communicate your needs and desires to your ink supplier. The future growth in usage of soy protein polymers for flexo- graphic inks will rely on two factors. First, ink manufacturers and printers must work closely together to find opportunities to utilize inks formulated using both technologies, extracting the benefits of both and creating a better ink in the process. Secondly, soy protein polymers must be further developed in order to over- come some of their shortfalls. In the meantime, ink manufactur- ers and printers alike need to continue exploring their options and utilizing soy protein polymers wherever possible. After all, they are truly sustainable. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Matt Fassler is director of corporate services at Graphic Sciences, a leading manufacturer of environmen- tally friendly flexographic inks and coatings. Detailed technical input was provided by Danny Ramos, vice president of service operations at Graphic Sciences. For more information regarding this article please contact 503-460-0203 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. TABLE 1. Gloss Test 60° on coated Leneta form 3NT-3. 220lpi/5.8bcm anilox roll 329 245 311 231 283 218 254 209 231 202 190 190 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 PORTION OF SOY VEHICLE ACRYLIC POLYMER X ACRYLIC POLYMER Y