Plastic is one of the most widely used materials in food packaging, although it is gradually being replaced for more sustainable alternatives. One option is to use paper, which is already employed for a wide variety of packaging. Paper is sustainable, highly versatile and resistant, although for certain applications it does lack the same barrier and heat-sealing properties that plastics provide.
Paper is a porous material and to be able to use it as an alternative to plastics we need to enhance its barrier properties, approaching something akin to the properties provided by plastics and/or composite materials. One means of enhancing these barrier properties is through aqueous polymer coatings, which make it possible to reduce paper’s porosity and permeability while boosting chemical resistance.
Barrier coatings will make it possible to improve these characteristics and enhance the versatility of paper as a suitable material for food packaging. The aqueous dispersions used in these types of barrier coatings must meet food contact regulations and provide other benefits such as heat-sealing or blocking resistance properties.
Alberdingk Boley is developing acrylic dispersions and ready-to-use products for these applications. The former products offer highly effective barrier properties against water, fat and steam. We at Comindex can advise you on the additives needed for the formulation of these types of coatings.