Last updateFri, 03 Jul 2020 5pm

Barrier coatings convince packaging producers

Particularly in light of the food-to-go trend, convenience products have reported significant market growth for the past several years. That is why Schmid Rhyner AG works with various partners to further develop the technology of barrier coatings for packaging products and their manufacturers, providing a sustainable alternative to PE-coated packaging material.

We humans love convenience, and that love affair doesn’t stop with food. Fast food and quick disposal increase the need for simple packaging solutions. Fast-food packagings and beverage cups in particular demonstrate massive growth [1]. Many of the products in use today are made of cardboard. This requires a barrier to protect the substrate and/or its contents. The barriers used today to shield contents containing oil or fat or liquids are mainly PE films. But the poor recyclability of the PE layers and the high levels of plastic that result create a significant disadvantage for these coated substrates. They are increasingly falling into disrepute as a result and are subject to ever-more sweeping regulations. This is why there is an effort at all levels to find further solutions to prevent additional plastic waste. Barrier coatings of the kind offered by Schmid Rhyner can provide a very good alternative in many cases.
As an innovative company, it is important to Schmid Rhyner to continuously develop and optimise its products. The GALACRYL® barrier coatings are already successful and have been tested on the market. To achieve respectable results in line with the market, they cooperate with renowned partners in the packaging industry. An important partner for Schmid Rhyner is Cardbox Packaging of Austria, a well-known producer of folding boxes. ‘As a packaging producer, we want to offer our customers products that are functional yet contemporary and sustainable products as well. So it’s important to us to work with partners like Schmid Rhyner to develop solutions – barrier solutions for the food sector – and generate a customer benefit in the process’. That is how Klaus Hockl (Managing Director, Cardbox Packaging Holding) explains his company’s interest in this PE-free form of production.
The regulatory requirements for the disposal, the recycling of production material and, most importantly, the reduction of plastics present a major challenge for many processing companies. Brand owners pass the resulting pressures along to the manufacturers. This is understandable, as a brand’s success today depends on a demonstrably sustainable production chain, among other things. Chris Düringer (Director Cardbox Packaging Group) emphasises: ‘Our packaging has a very short service life in the product life cycle, e.g. for the fast-food sector, which is why it enters the disposal process very quickly. Nevertheless, we still have to get functionality, quality and food compliance right. It’s important to us for customers to get sustainable product solutions. We offer this solution with coatings by Schmid Rhyner. They reduce the plastic content by up to 75% (polymers) compared to a composite substrate.’
Besides making large cuts in polymers, the use of barrier coatings as a substitute for PE substrates also has other advantages that should not be underestimated. ‘The production times we get from our customers are getting shorter and shorter all the time. When we order PE-coated boards, we either have longer order times, and thus longer production times, or else we have to build up stores of material that then tie up our operating resources. By using barrier coatings, we can produce independently of the supplier and, more importantly, just-in-time’, explains Michael Scheiber (Technical Plant Manager, Cardbox Packaging Wolfsberg) with a clear focus on productivity and cost-optimised production.
KIT (fat resistance) and CoBB (water absorption) tests play an important role in barrier substrates. The intended use of the barrier coatings determines how high or how low the value is permitted to be. Barrier coatings by Schmid Rhyner can achieve KIT values of up to 12 (optimum) and CoBB values of 0 (optimum). In any event, barrier coatings are a very good alternative for meeting the demand for sustainable products and avoiding products that contain PE.


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