EB coating Developments for Graphic Arts

Kevin Lifsey

Presented by Rick Sanders, Energy Sciences, Inc.

Electron Beam (EB) technology continues to gain greater acceptance by flexible packaging converters due to a number of developments by equipment manufacturers and chemistry suppliers alike. On the equipment front, the size of the systems and the investment required to enter this technology have decreased substantially of recent years. The chemistry suppliers continue to develop new coating applications for EB use. Developments including EB curable coatings to
replace laminations, EB curable coatings that are FDA compliant for direct food contact, EB curable wet trapped inks for CI flexo presses and instant cured EB lamination adhesives.

On the equipment front, this paper will begin with an explanation of how EB systems work. Detailing how the electrons are generated and then harnessed to affect a cure of either inks, coatings and/or adhesives. The paper will include a brief overview of where EB technology is currently be used. Illustrations of various EB systems will be shown with an explanation of which applications they are best suited to handle.

An explanation of EB curing parameters will be given to explain the relationship between electron voltage, electron current and EB dose. Examples will be presented of various voltage ranges and their effective depth of cure capabilities.

Focusing on EB cured chemistry, applications from lamination replacement to FDA compliant direct food contact coatings will be covered in depth during the conference. Finally, a relatively new wet trapping CI flexo ink system development will be discussed.

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