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FLEXO Magazine : Sustainable Spring 2011
plying oxygen barrier coatings to film, uch as PET, at a conventional printing/ coating wet film weight, provides supe- rior performance, when compared to alternative filmic barrier technologies, as illustrated in Figure 3. If we evaluate a typical model barrier structure, as in Figure 4, it can be seen that significant benefits are derived from applying oxygen barrier coating to displace currently used technologies. In the example, a layer of metalized barrier film, and one layer of adhesive, is being replaced by an oxygen barrier coating, resulting in the packaging be- ing lightweight. Flex crack resistance is improved and enhanced performance will result in an extension of shelf life. There is also the potential for lower ma- terial and / or operating costs. Finally, if the primary and secondary substrates, within the laminate structure, are in the same polymeric family, the package has greater potential to be recyclable. Figure 5 represents a 10-week study of chilled food packages, prepared using oxygen and other barrier tech- nologies. As can be seen, the oxygen ingress is comparable to EVOH and appreciably less than PVdC and SiOx. ConClusion Oxygen barrier coatings can be easily applied to many filmic substrates to replace or enhance current barrier technologies in a sustainable, cost effective manner. They meet current non-food contact regulations and are recyclable and biodegradable. Use of a printable, thin barrier coating can en- able the next generation of packaging designs. n About the Author: Peter Brownrigg is product manage, coatings for Sun Chemical. He can be reached at +44 (0) 1706 889695, or at peter.brownrigg@ sunchemical.com.SunBarTM oxygen bar- rier coating technology is described in generic terms in this article. 12 Sustainable FLEXO SPRING 2011 www.flexography.org O2 Barrier O2 Barrier