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Curing printing inks with electron beams

06.07.2011
New printing process for food packaging saves energy

Food packaging has to meet high demands: it has to appeal to customers, pose no risks to health and be cheap to manufacture. A central role is played here by the printing process and the inks used. In a joint energy research project, four companies from different areas of the printing industry have developed a new process that has now reached market maturity.

The recently published BINE-Projektinfo brochure “The packaging Olympics: Better, quicker and more economic” (03/2011) details the printing process, the optimised production procedures, the energy savings achieved and the environmental benefits.

The new process is based on a further developed flexographic printing process, whereby special printing inks were developed that can be printed wet-on-wet. A new feature is that the inks are subsequently dried and cured using electron beams in a nitrogen atmosphere. This curing process takes just a few tenths of a second. This new development will be able to replace the previous standard printing processes that are mostly based on solvent-containing inks or are dried using UV lamps. In comparison, the new flexographic printing process requires just a sixth of the amount of energy, while the print speed and quality are comparable with gravure printing.

The global packaging market has an annual volume of 24 billion euros, of which 2.6 billion euros is spent on packaging materials. 240,000 tonnes of printing inks costing 400 million euros are produced each year in Germany alone. The BINE-Projektinfo brochure “The packaging Olympics: Better, quicker and more economic” (03/2011), which can be obtained free of charge from the BINE Information Service at FIZ Karlsruhe, is available online at www.bine.info or by calling +49 228 92379-0.

Press contact

Uwe Milles
presse(at)bine.info
About BINE Information Service
Energy research for practical applications
The BINE Information Service reports on energy research topics, such as new materials, systems and components, as well as innovative concepts and methods. The knowledge gained is incorporated into the implementation of new technologies in practice, because first-rate information provides a basis for pioneering decisions, whether in the planning of energy-optimised buildings, increasing the efficiency of industrial processes, or integrating renewable energy sources into existing systems.

About FIZ Karlsruhe

FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure is a not-for-profit organization with the public mission to make sci-tech information from all over the world publicly available and to provide related services in order to support the national and international transfer of knowledge and the promotion of innovation.

Our business areas:
• STN International – the world’s leading online service for research and patent information in science and technology
• KnowEsis – innovative eScience solutions to support the process of research in all its stages, and throughout all scientific disciplines
• Databases and Information Services – Databases and science portals in mathematics, computer science, crystallography, chemistry, and energy technology

FIZ Karlsruhe is a member of the Leibniz Association (WGL) which consists of 87 German research and infrastructure institutions.

Rüdiger Mack | idw
Further information:
http://www.bine.info/en/

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