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FLEXO Magazine : June 2009
prise about 75-80 percent paperboard, and 20-25 percent polyethylene, coated on both sides of the board. Aseptic board, which is also used for long-life products, requires greater barrier properties to ensure the packed product retains its freshness for many months or even years. Barriers to moisture, light, aroma, and oxygen are needed, and aluminium is a very good barrier to all these. As a result, many grades of aseptic board contain about 5-6 percent aluminium foil as well as the polyethylene, although other materials such as EVOH are being used by some producers due to recycling issues with aluminium foil. The major end use market for functional and barrier coatings is within the beverage/liquid packaging board sector, where supplies to the liquid dairy and non-carbonated soft drinks market make up 44 percent of the total market. The fastest growing sector in recent years has been the pharmaceutical and healthcare market, where although sales of barrier coatings for paper and board are small, the growth figures are exceeding the overall market. This is a result of rising demand for a whole range of healthcare products, a generally aging population in both the developed world and in China, and an increasing interest in health and well-being. The newest and most cutting-edge technologies may not seem, at first glance, to be that new. However, developments in specific areas are keeping this work at the forefront of change: Nanotechnology. There are very few commercial products in this market place as yet. Still, the work on this subject is continuing to develop with results indicating that improved performance of functional and barrier coatings can be achieved from some interesting novel systems. Plasma. The use of this technology is still very much at the cutting edge, and requires further development. Results from small-scale batch processes indicate that the potential for high-performance barriers from extremely low application levels is possible Oxides. While oxides, or SiOx or AlOx, are in common use on plastic packaging, they are less common on paper and board. New developments indicate that this could change in the coming years, however. Liquid crystal polymers. These are also in use on certain plastic packages and, while expensive, are very effective. Opportunities for niche applications for this technology on paper and board are expected. Fluorochemicals. Generally, their use is declining. Yet a number of suppliers are developing or promoting safer versions of these materials that can provide the desired level of oil and grease barrier. Water-based barrier coatings. Continual development in this area is creating more effective barriers all the time. This trend is expected to continue Biotechnology is showing some exciting results, with polylactic acid (PLA) and polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) showing particular promise, and starting to gain a market presence. Curtain Coating Systems. The development of new curtain coating systems is creating opportunities for manufacturers to add up to 10 different coatings at the same time. This could open up opportunities for new types of materials designed especially for this technology. Enzymes. When used in combination with nanotechnology, enzymes are showing potential high-performance barrier effects in the laboratory. Further study is needed in this www. f le xography. org area before commercial products can be produced. ■ The Future of Functional and Barrier Coatings for Paper and Board is available for $5,250. Readers of FLEXO Magazine can take advantage of a special 10 percent discount and order the report for just $4,725 until July 1, 2009. For more information, contact Neil Johnston on 44-1372-802-262, firstname.lastname@example.org. Pira International is a leading publisher, conference organizer and research organization specializing in graphic arts, packaging, media and technology-led industries. Pira was established 75 years ago and is based near London, UK. For more information, please visit www.pira-international.com or call Neil Johnston on 44-1372-802-262 email@example.com. JUNE 2009 FLEXO 17
Sustainable Spring 2009