Feature Markets - Flexible Packaging Inks

Flexible Packaging Inks

Flexible packaging is a constantly growing segment within the printing inks market. The preferred printing technologies are flexo and gravure printing, with regional preferences for the one or the other.

Regarding the ink technology, solvent-borne inks have the highest market share, while radiation-curing and water-borne ink systems are also readily available on the market, but not as widely used. The segment is divided into three main drivers:

  • Regulatory topics such as the Swiss Ordinance 

  • Performance topics like retortability and lamination-bond strength 

  • Commercial topics like price-performance ratio and total cost of formulation

In the field of high-performance solvent-borne printing inks for lamination applications, the use of PU resins is quite common due to their positive influence on lamination-bond strength. However, some shortcomings are associated with the use of these resins, the most prominent being the negative effect they have on the viscosity of pigment bases when used as a grinding medium.

TEGO® Dispers 690 was especially developed to overcome this challenge. It achieves excellent viscosity reduction and pigment stabilization in combination with typical PU-resin qualities and is highly compatible with other binders like NC-resins. Its performance is especially good in combination with TEGO® VariPlus 1201 TF co-binders. Moreover, it fulfills the most stringent of regulatory demands by consisting of 100% Swiss Ordinance A materials.


Other TEGO® additives like the TEGO® Foamex defoamers or the TEGO® Glide surface-control additives are used to fine-tune ink performance and ink-film properties and thus play an important role in modern ink formulations.

Type of raw material

Evonik brand

Typical use

Defoamer/deaerator

TEGO®

Foamex;

TEGO®

Airex

Defoaming and deaeration of printing inks and lacquers

Dispersing additive

TEGO®

Dispers

Pigment wetting and stabilization in bases; viscosity reduction; color-intensity enhancement; grinding-efficiency enhancement

Surface control additives 

TEGO®

Glide

Control slip and/or leveling of printing inks and lacquers

Substrate wetting additives

TEGO®

Wet

Additives to influence the static and/or dynamic surface tension of printing inks and lacquers and to wet critical substrates

Radiation curing additives

TEGO®

Rad

Additives to control leveling and/or slip and release properties in radiation-curing printing inks and lacquers

Rheology additives

TEGO®

ViscoPlus

Stabilization of viscosity and transfer enhancement in water-based printing inks

Co-binders

TEGO®

VariPlus;

TEGO®

Addbond

Co-binders to enhance properties like adhesion, gloss, and chemical resistance; grinding resins to lower viscosity and enhance pigment stabilization

Matting agents

SIPERNAT®

ACEMATT®

 

Silica-based fillers to influence matting of printing inks and lacquers

 

Evonik Technical Service experts can help you to optimize your formulation by providing recommendations or through lab work or joint development projects.