Isocyanate-free adhesive sets benchmark in the flexible packaging industry
Henkel has launched an extremely fast curing laminating adhesive: “Our goal was to develop an adhesive that would enable just-in-time manufacturing of flexible packages,” says Georg Kinzelmann, Corporate Technical Director, Head of the R&D Platform for Polyurethanes at Henkel. “With this unique one-component PUR laminating adhesive Liofol Fast One, curing is substantially reduced to just a few days, compared to a curing time of up to two weeks with a conventional adhesive”.
The extremely fast cure of Liofol Fast One combined with a considerably higher initial tack enables packaging manufacturers to bundle printing, lamination and cutting in one single step. These technical benefits create significant competitive advantages by increasing flexibility across the whole processing chain. In addition to time saving, the reduction of warehousing costs and lower capital employed are key benefits that will be immediately apparent to converters.
Henkel embraces its responsibilities
Maintaining a balance between economic success, protection of the environment, and social responsibility has been fundamental to Henkel for decades. The company constantly seeks to develop new methods and innovative approaches that will benefit people and the environment.
The food packaging industry has a duty to comply with legal provisions regarding food. Full chemical curing as well as quality measurements are necessary to ensure legal compliance. If the adhesive is not fully cured when the package is filled, the remaining isocyanate monomers can migrate into the food and react with the water to form primary aromatic amines. With the introduction of Liofol Fast One – the first-ever laminating adhesive that contains no free isocyanates – Henkel has once again demonstrated its commitment. With this adhesive, the formation of primary aromatic amines is avoided right from the beginning.
Furthermore, Liofol Fast One stays well within the specific migration limit (SML). The laminating adhesive is toxicologically safe in terms of Risk Phrase R40. No R40 labeling is necessary. Henkel therefore offers maximum safety for both converters and consumers.
Liofol Fast One also shows environmentally sustainable performance. The one-component laminating adhesive minimizes the risk of mixing-ratio errors which typically occur in a conventional two-component system. This results in less adhesive waste than with a two-component system. Depending on the type of solvents used, another positive aspect is the possibility of re-using the solvents from the recovery system which can be fed back directly into the production process without the need of purification.
Henkel’s booth (Hall B6, Stand 230) at the ICE 2011 in Munich provides visitors with more information on adhesive technologies for product packaging.