The latest news from academia, regulators
research labs and other things of interest
Posted: December 22, 2009
Breakthrough Technology for the Paper and Packaging Industry Provided by Ecology Coatings' EcoQuik UV-Cured Coatings
(Nanowerk News) Ecology Coatings, Inc., a leader in the discovery and development of nanotechnology-enabled, advanced coatings, has developed UV-cured coatings specifically to address opportunities within the paper and packaging industry. These opportunities include the need for increased water and chemical resistance, along with solutions to important application and environmental issues, such as lower energy use, sustainability, solvent-free materials, and increased productivity.
The attributes of Ecology Coatings EcoQuik paper and packaging products include:
Substantially lower cost alternative to plastic laminate/glue overlays without sacrificing performance.
Sustainable green products contain no solvents, hazardous chemicals, are fully reclaimable, and minimize disposal hazards and cost.
Nano-enabled products provide exceptional water, solvent and household chemical resistance.
Compatibility with in-place application and UV-curing systems in packaging and paper operations.
These unique advantages are being demonstrated in various markets and applications that include grease and waterproof, disposable dinnerware and food package trays, black mold resistant wall covering for moisture-prone venues, waterproof packaging and envelopes, pressure sensitive labels and product packaging.
For example, funded research at a major university has demonstrated that an EcoQuik coating is capable of preventing the formation of black mold, "Strachybotrys chartarum," a particularly virulent mold, on wallboard. Ecology will be developing strategic partnerships to develop applications for construction products, such as wall or pipe covering, to reduce harmful mold exposure in venues such as hospitals and schools.
In another case, paper-based storage containers are frequently subject to high humidity conditions that can result in mold, odors or destruction of contents. This is presently combated with laminated plastic films that are expensive and require special handling equipment and thermal processing. An EcoQuik coating can be readily applied and cured at high speeds, providing an attractive low cost alternative.
The approximately $15.4 billion U.S. label and packaging industry is made up of pressure sensitive, heat-shrink, stretch-sleeve, and in-mold labels, among others. Ecology Coatings is currently developing coatings designed for use on pressure sensitive prime labels, a $1.5 billion U.S. market. "Because label manufactures already use UV-cured inks and coatings and have press application and curing equipment in place, our coatings can be adopted in a relatively short development and testing cycle," commented Ecology Coatings COO Tom Krotine.
"The benefit we bring to these markets is Ecology's proprietary barrier technology. Our coatings offer significant benefits over existing UV-cured coatings. In addition, our coatings replace expensive adhesive-plastic lamination used in many label applications, which reduces the cost of materials and simplifies the manufacturing line. But the biggest selling point is the superior performance of the products produced using our environmentally friendly, nano-enabled coatings," added Crockett.
About Ecology Coatings, Inc.
Ecology Coatings, Inc. is a leader in the development and licensing of cleantech ultraviolet (UV) curable coatings - coatings that improve the products we use daily. Ecology's technology platform allows manufacturers to enhance the durability and performance of their products, while significantly reducing energy costs and increasing manufacturing throughput. The company produces solvent-free coatings which eliminate the escape of harmful solvents into the atmosphere during application. Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, Ecology Coatings has a development and prototype lab in Akron, Ohio.