Allnex - Reduce risk with self-curing resins

Allnex is a leading supplier of speciality chemicals, offering a range of resins, additives and crosslinkers for use on wood, metal, plastic and other surfaces. Its low-migration solutions are ideal for use in inks and coatings for indirect food contact.

A global company with $1.5 billion in sales, Allnex is among the leading suppliers of resins for architectural, industrial, OEM and special-purpose coatings. It is recognised as a speciality chemicals pioneer in several key technologies and offers a broad portfolio of high-quality liquid resins and additives, radiation-cured and powder-coating resins, and crosslinkers for use on wood, metal, plastic and other surfaces. With manufacturing facilities, and research and technology support centres
located around the world, it can provide responsive local support to customers, helping them rapidly bring advanced coating solutions to market.

In the past, radiation-curable inks and coatings have had limited success in penetrating food-packaging applications due to the main concerns of odour and taste transfer, and migration of resins and photoinitiators - as well as the use of chemicals of concern. Today, this is no longer the case.

Allnex is a knowledge leader in the compliance of energy-curable resins in indirect food-packaging applications. It understands European and global guidelines and has performed extensive testing to ensure its accordance in that area.

High quality, low migration

EBECRYL low-migration resins are designed for use in printing inks and coatings for indirect food contact. They are made using components that enable the formulation of low-migration solutions, and are produced under ISO 9001 standards, with measures taken to avoid cross contamination.

The EBECRYL LEO range uses good manufacturing practices and extended quality control, and provides a high degree of assurance regarding compliance with food-packaging regulations. EBECRYL LEO resins feature low residual odour after curing and low taste transfer, alongside low levels of migration. They also make use of high-purity raw materials and are non-mutagenic.

Offering valuable options for the production of high-performing inks and coatings with low migration potential, plus the ability to achieve high gloss and excellent print quality, EBECRYL LEO resins are applicable for use with food, pet food, pharmaceuticals and similar products for indirect food packaging, confidently meeting brand requirements and demanding regulations.

Self-curing acrylate resins

A step further than Allnex's EBECRYL LEO resins, the EBECRYL LEO Self-Curing Acrylate Resin is the company's latest development in acrylated binder technology. It does not require an additional photoinitiator to be added to ink or coating formulations, reducing the risk of migration in indirect-food-contact applications.

Key properties of the EBECRYL LEO Self-Curing Acrylate Resin include:

  • a molecular weight of about 1,000Da
  • high purity to avoid low-molecular-weight impurities or residuals prone to migration
  • the ability to generate free radicals upon UV irradiation
  • no generation of low-molecular-weight breakdown products upon irradiation
  • incorporation into the acrylate matrix formed during the curing of inks or coatings, meaning it is not extractable.

Suitably stable

EBECRYL LEO self-curing resins allow manufacturers of inks and coatings for indirect-food-contact applications to eliminate concerns about the migration of low-molecular-weight photoinitiators. They also are more compatible and faster-reacting than polymeric photoinitiators, allowing ease of formulation and use on high-speed presses.

Self-curing acrylate resins, typically incorporated at 15-30%, do not affect ink flow and are suitable for use in ink formulations with different types of pigments. Finished inks based on these products have good stability and gloss, similar to those of inks prepared with conventional binders and PIs.

Using self-curing acrylate resins, there is no need for photoinitiators, but it is possible to combine them with photoinitiators when required - for example, in highly concentrated inks. These resins also boast high reactivity, making them suitable for high-speed printing applications. They are also compatible over a wide range of acrylates, facilitating ease in formulation.

Several new flexo and litho inks, as well as coatings containing EBECRYL LEO self-curing resins, were introduced this year at drupa. The food-packaging market is growing alongside use of these self-curing resins, which eliminate the risk of photoinitiator migration from inks and coatings.

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