Imerys - Expert barrier coatings

Imerys has over 300 customers worldwide in paper and packaging, and has extensive knowledge in various coating formulations and applications. Packaging & Converting Intelligence speaks with Paul Meizanis, new-business development manager, about the importance of formulations and the Barrikote 2050 product, and why Imerys puts expertise at the heart of everything it does.

Why are formulations so essential to your partners in the packaging industry?

Paul Meizanis: The development of commercially viable coatings requires knowledge of the entire formulation, the application method and the end-use package requirements. The packaging industry has a wide variety of requirements, and having the ability to draw on coating experts allows producers to provide an array of solutions to their clients and, ultimately, the consumer.

Imerys coating solutions can be applied at the convertor on flexo or gravure applicators, reducing logistic needs and, potentially, costs, while enabling the convertor to respond quickly to the market.

What makes the Barrikote 2050 so effective and what are some of its unique characteristics?

Imerys mines and processes hyper-platy minerals that enhance barrier-coating performance, especially in moisture-vapour applications. Combining our mineral expertise with the best available chemistries, we have developed Barrikote 2050, a patent-pending moisture-barrier system. This can be used for food packaging where maintaining freshness or prolonging shelf life is important.

Barrikote 2050's moisture-barrier performance is equivalent to extruded polyethylene at equivalent costs. Imerys's coatings meet the applicable food-contact statutes in Europe and the US, and are free from fluorine chemistry. This moisture-barrier coating system can also be used for non-food applications that require moisture protection like roll wraps and ream wraps.

Why is the sustainability of the product so important?

With growing populations and limited resources around the world, we need to use technologies that help extend our means. A huge success story exists in the percentage of reclaimed paper and packaging material for recycling. But the existing technologies for barrier packaging - wax coating or extruded polyethylene - cannot be recycled easily.

Consumers are demanding more sustainable packaging, and the Imerys Barrikote systems are recyclable and repulpable. This means that the final package can be recycled instead of being discarded into landfill. Recycling fibre reduces the impact on our natural resources while creating a product that meets the needs of the market. Using these technologies can help reduce the remaining percentage points of non-recyclable packaging material - the most difficult kind.

What coatings do you provide for cups, wraps and food-packaging areas?

The Barrikote coatings have been formulated for use on a variety of coating applicators. These coating systems have been successfully applied on blade, rod and curtain coaters as well as puddle and metering size presses, on-line or applied off-machine. They have also been applied on flexo and gravure applicators as press-applied systems.

Our grease coating systems can be used to replace fluorochemicals or wax-based systems for food wraps and boxes at equivalent performance. We offer primers and top-coat barrier systems that can be combined to optimise performance while keeping costs in line with traditional technologies. With the Barrikote 2050 coating, the use of extruded polyethylene can be replaced. The Imerys coating systems can be designed to be cold-set or hot-melt glueable and heat sealable.

What sets Imerys apart from its competitors?

As a mineral-processing company, Imerys manages key ingredients of actual coating recipes, and we have the knowledge necessary to select and apply the right products. We can refine, treat and combine minerals to offer specific solutions to our customers, while other suppliers are at the mercy of others in the supply chain and have less control over the end product.

Imerys has a large R&D footprint around the world, with first-class scientists working to develop and improve final products with leading equipment. Imerys also has in-depth knowledge of the packaging segment and experience with application equipment, enabling us to help customers successfully implement our solutions.

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Kaolin can be used as a functional additive in aqueous barrier coatings to replace polyethylene and fluorochemical compounds.
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