The increasing demand for low migration inks for indirect food packaging is driven by market demand and stricter regulations worldwide. Allnex is now offering ink manufacturers a solution to migration issues through the resins EBECRYL LEO 10101 and EBECRYL LEO 10102. Both products are highly reactive self-curing acrylate resins that eliminate the need for a photoinitiator. The resins generate free radicals upon UV irradiation without by-product formation and are bound into the matrix of the film upon curing, reducing the risk of migration. In addition, only very pure, high quality raw materials are used in the production of EBECRYL LEO 10101 and EBECRYL LEO 10102, and the production process has been optimized to avoid residual contaminants.
Importantly, the self-curing acrylate resins, typically incorporated at 20%-30%, do not affect ink flow and are suitable for use in ink formulations with different types of pigments. Finished inks based on EBECRYL LEO 10101 and EBECRYL LEO 10102 have good stability, gloss and transparency similar to those of inks prepared with conventional binders and photoinitiators.
EBECRYL® LEO 10101 and EBECRYL LEO 10102 have much higher reactivity than conventional resin/polymeric photoinitiator combinations, and are thus suitable for high-speed printing applications. In fact, the new self-curing resins are designed for use in several different types of inks. Specifically, EBECRYL LEO 10101 is ideal for use in overprint varnishes and flexo inks, while EBECRYL LEO 10102 is effective in inks used for offset printing. Although in most cases the addition of photoinitiators is not necessary when using EBECRYL LEO 10101 or EBECRYL LEO 10102, they can be combined with photoinitiators when required e.g. in highly concentrated inks.
"We are excited about the addition of this self-curing technology to our portfolio of products for UV cured inks and coatings," noted Audrey De Wulf, global marketing director, UV/EB Curable resins with Allnex. "Not only do EBECRYL® LEO 10101 and EBECRYL® LEO 10102 enable ink formulators to avoid concerns about photoinitator migration in indirect food packaging applications, they also have a lower overall cost-in-use due to the elimination of the need for a photoinitiator and simplification of the supply chain, combined with their increased reactivity."