Tag Archives: film and flexible packaging
Last week, BTG Labs traveled to Las Vegas for the largest and most comprehensive packaging event in North America: PACK EXPO 2017. BTG Labs Sales Engineers met with leaders of the packaging industry to exchange the latest trends and advances.
The event gave BTG Labs a chance to visit existing customers and learn new applications in the industry.
BTG Labs Sales Engineer, Derrick Merrell was a first-time attendee and was highly impressed by the enormity of the show that included over 30,000 packaging professionals from more than 40 countries.
Sales Engineers Alex Bien and Paul McLean who have attended many PACK EXPO’s, explain that a lot of the major players are high end film and flexible packaging. BTG Labs plays major roles in these industries by optimizing surface critical processes from treatment to printing.
Manufacturers often encounter a similar puzzle, when cleaning invisible contaminants from a surface, how do you know when the surface is clean; how clean is clean enough? This is a common question that manufacturers ask when preparing their surfaces for bonding, coating, sealing, printing or painting. Until now, there hasn’t been an objective and reliable way to answer this question. Successfully cleaning a surface directly correlates to the adhesive ability of the surface. In order to get something to stick reliably the surface must be clean. How we define that parameter is different for a variety of materials.
For example, you clean your car differently than you clean your dishes. Why? Because a car rides on the road through rain, smog, dirt, maybe mud, and the other is a vehicle for your food.
At BTG Labs, our answer to the “clean enough” question is, “Depends on what you’re doing.” There are dozens of critical surface preparation processes that exist for a number of different applications. A handful include:
- Flame treatment on polypropylene bumpers prior to painting
- Plasma treatment on PET catheters prior to coating
- Hand sanding and solvent wiping on aircraft nut plates before adhesively bonding to composite
- Grit-blasting titanium golf clubs in preparation of bonding to composite
- Corona treatment on film for packaging prior to metallization, lamination, or coating
Film and Flexible Packaging Applications
Adhering on film and flexible packaging—whether it’s coating, lamination, metallization, print—can be challenging as the materials generally have very low surface energy, which is difficult to adhere to. So, manufacturers recognize the importance of monitoring and verifying surface treatment. Thus, ensuring a proper in-place surface preparation process and verifying this process is crucial for successful adhesion when working with film and flexible packaging.
BTG Labs’ Surface Analyst™ is a fast, easy, and accurate surface energy measurement device. Unlike dyne— the most common surface treatment verification method–it is objective, quantifiable, non-destructive to the material being tested and safe for the user. This handheld device allows users to take measurements in under 2 seconds directly on the factory floor. This reduces waste and ensures a successful product and a satisfied customer.
Typical Surface Analyst Applications in Film and Flexible Packaging Manufacturing
- Define optimum flame or corona treatment level
- Verify and monitor flame and corona treatment level
- Troubleshoot printing and sealing problems
- Analyze potential migration of low molecular weight components of polymers in packaging
- Identify and monitor decay of treatment level due to extended storage or storage under non-ideal conditions
- Verify surface readiness to print on PET and polyethylene bottle packaging
- Monitor printing film on flexible packaging
- Flag environmental contaminants in production/on rollers or transfer areas