Wolfgang Aufmuth

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Adhesive that comes into contact with foodstuffs

Posted by Wolfgang Aufmuth on 9/23/19 3:36 PM

Labels in the supermarket

When walking through the supermarket, have you ever noticed how many products feature labels? By labels, I don’t mean the small price tags – these have in recent years been almost completely done away with and prices are instead displayed on shelves – but rather the larger labels that are used as an advertising medium and to display the product information. 

If you look closely, you will see that a large number of products – mainly sausages and cheese – are labelled in this way. This is not the only place in which these labels are used – in the fruit and vegetables section, you choose your products, weigh them and stick the price and product label that is printed at the scales to the plastic bag in which they are weighed or even directly to the fruit or vegetable.

Fresh cheese and sausages are placed in a plastic bag at the deli counter, weighed and a self-adhesive label on which the price information is printed is used to seal the bag. Other products, such as seasoning sauces, spice jars and drinks bottles also feature labels that are used as advertising media.

You have, however, probably never thought about whether the adhesive used in these labels is allowed to be used for this purpose. We at artimelt deal with this on a daily basis.

Regulations for materials/adhesive that come into contact with foodstuffs

There are strict regulations for the packaging and materials, including adhesive, that are allowed to come into contact with foodstuffs! Within the EU, these regulations are set out by the European Commission. The Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office and the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) are responsible for this task in Switzerland and the US, respectively. For artimelt it is a matter of course to adhere to these regulations and to develop and produce the adhesive accordingly.

Approved lists for direct and indirect contract with foodstuffs in the US

Although there are differences between the regulations and legislation, there are so-called approved lists in the US. These lists define the materials (including adhesive) that are permitted to come into contact with foodstuffs as well as the ways in which they are allowed to be applied to foodstuffs. The lists also specify whether the materials are permitted to come into direct or indirect contact with foodstuffs.

Direct contact with foodstuffs means that the adhesive is allowed to touch the foodstuff itself. Indirect contact is where the adhesive is applied to another material that comes into direct contact with the foodstuff.

For example, you create a label that you want to attach to an apple. The label comes into “direct” contact with the foodstuff when applied. Another label is stuck to the packaging for a piece of cheese. This means that the label does not come into direct contact with the foodstuff, but with the packaging instead. This is what is referred to as “indirect” contact with foodstuffs.

The FDA only approves substances that have undergone thorough prior testing which shows that no components of the substance that could pose a hazard to the health of consumers are transferred to foodstuffs.

artimelt must therefore know exactly whether the adhesive comes into direct or indirect contact with foodstuffs. This is the only way to ensure that artimelt select the right raw materials for the adhesive mixture.

Regulations in Europe

In Europe, the distributor of the foodstuff must prove that the foodstuff and the packaging including adhesive in which the foodstuff is contained are safe and the consumption of the foodstuff does not pose any risks to consumers.

In order to help with this, there is also a wide range of resources available for the distributor to use, e.g. approved lists for plastics that are permitted to come into contact with foodstuffs (EU Regulation 10/2011). This regulation clearly stipulates the raw materials that have been tested and have been found to be suitable for coming into contact with foodstuffs. These raw materials are subsequently allowed to be used in the manufacture of foodstuff packaging made from plastic, provided that they also comply with global migration values and/or specific migration limits. The limits specify the maximum amounts of substances or of a specific substance that are allowed to be transferred to foodstuffs.

Testing by independent institutes

It has become common practice for suppliers to support the distributors by having the individual components of foodstuff packaging tested by independent institutes to prove that the components supplied by them are safe. artimelt thus also has selected adhesive tested to determine whether it can come into contact with foodstuffs.

For the purpose of this testing, artimelt sends the testing institute samples of the adhesive and information on the exact way in which it is intended to be used. The testing institute then carries out its testing in accordance with the generally binding testing standards to determine whether components of the adhesive are transferred to a food simulant. The food simulants used in the testing include, for example, olive oil (which simulates contact with greasy foodstuffs) and Tenax® (which simulates contact with dry foodstuffs).

The institutes’ testing programs and final reports

Depending on the conditions in which the foodstuffs are stored (sausages and cheese are usually stored in a fridge, while biscuits are usually stored at room temperature), a wide range of testing programs can be selected. At the end of the test series, the institute draws up a final report as well as a certificate which specify the types of food (dry, wet, greasy) to which the adhesive is permitted to come into contact.

This ensures that only adhesive that do not release any substances that could negatively affect the health of consumers is used.

Summary

In summary:

  • Labels are attached to a great many foodstuffs and foodstuff packaging nowadays.
  • The adhesive (and its components) used for these labels must be tested to determine whether they can come into contact with foodstuffs and assessed as being safe.
  • Approved substances lists make it easier to select the right components in the development of the adhesive.

Our brochure about the UV-technology is available in the download zone.

If you require more information on finding the right adhesive for your foodstuff application, our adhesive experts would be happy to help.

Topics: Etiketten, Verpackung, Labels, Packaging

What is important when transporting money and valuable items?

Posted by Wolfgang Aufmuth on 7/15/19 8:00 AM

What is important when transporting money and valuable items?

 If you are a forward-thinker and are already using cashless payment methods, then you can stop reading here. If, however, you belong to the generation that thinks that “cash is king”, then this blog will definitely be interesting for you.

Money transporters

Although cashless payment methods using Maestro Cards, credit cards, smartphones and other means are on the rise, a large share of purchases made within Europe are still paid for using cash. As at the end of December 2018, there were 22.62 billion bank bills worth EUR 1,231.1 billion in circulation in the eurozone. Many of these bills change owners every day and are taken to banks to be stored securely. As an individual, you carry your bills in your wallet or purse and take them to the bank to be paid in. How though does a department store that takes tens of thousands of euros every day do this? This is the reason that money transporters exist. They pick up the cash and take it to the bank. However, they do not keep the cash in a normal envelope or a bag, but rather a specially designed and manufactured security bag. Stitched into this bag is a great deal of expertise and development work.

The security bag

You can think of the security bag as being similar to the jiffy bags in which items of clothing are sent – but with significantly more security features. After the cash is placed in the bag, it is sealed securely in the same way as a normal envelope – via an adhesive applied on the closing flap. The flap now has to form a seal so strong that it cannot be opened without being detected both immediately after being sealed and until the bag is delivered to its destination. This is achieved by using an adhesive that has a very strong initial bond, also known as the tack, and high adhesive strength. Once the bag is en route with the transporter, there are further dangers lying in wait for the contents of the bag. Resourceful people keep employing a wide variety of methods to try to open the bag without getting caught.

artimelt_blog_klebstoffe_geldtransport

The security features of the bag

This is why it is important to equip the bag with a great many security features.

  • Security printing
    If an attempt is made to open the bag without using any tools, the bag film will either become heavily distorted and even rip, or security printing applied to the bag will be triggered, displaying a legible message – frequently “VOID” or “STOP”. This provides clear evidence that an attempt has been made to open the bag. As simply tearing the bag open is not an effective method of opening the security bag without being detected, other tricks and tools are used.
  • Color change when exposed to warm temperatures
    Anyone who has tried to remove labels from surfaces in the past knows that they are easier to remove if you use a hot air gun or a hairdryer. This trick works with both labels and shipping bags. Once applied, the heat causes the adhesive to melt and lose its adhesive strength and cohesion, which makes the bag much easier to open. A security feature is thus needed to reveal whether high temperatures have been used in an attempt to tamper with the bag. This feature is realized through the use of special imprints that change color irreversibly when exposed to high temperatures. Once the imprint changes color, it cannot be changed back to the original color, thus providing evidence that high temperatures have been used in an attempt to tamper with the bag.
  • Color change when exposed to cold temperatures
    What happens to the bag if it is exposed to cold temperatures? Anyone who has placed an object bearing a label in the freezer will know that this can make the label easier to remove and it sometimes even falls off by itself. This is because the adhesive becomes hard and brittle, losing its elasticity and tack. This also holds true with the security bags, which is why security features have also been designed with this fact in mind. Specifically, a component included in the adhesive that changes color when exposed to cold temperatures. Once effected, this change in color likewise cannot be reversed. The use of such special components that change their color when exposed to high and low temperatures provides a high level of security against tampering.
  • Imprints
    Attempts are frequently made to dissolve the adhesive using solvents. There are, however, some great solutions that show when solvents have been used in an attempt to tamper with the bag. An example of an ideal security feature in this respect would be an imprint that dissolves in the solvent.

There are a wide range of solutions available on the market which demonstrate whether attempts have been made to tamper with security bags using heat, cold, solvents and mechanical force. When selecting these solutions, it is extremely important to know that all of the security features used must be able to work properly together! This is the only way to ensure that attempts to tamper with the bags can be reliably detected. The aim of using all of these features is not to prevent the security bags from being tampered with, but to make it possible for the recipients of the bags to see when attempts have been made to take or add items from and to the bags.

Different uses of the security bags

These security measures are not only used for transporting money now. Have you ever bought a bottle of spirits or perfume from the duty-free shop in an airport? Such purchases are often placed in a security bag that is sealed with an adhesive tab. This prevents the liquid from being replaced with another kind of liquid. Premium replacement parts for vehicles are now also delivered in security bags that reveal when attempts have been made to tamper with them.

Summary

In summary:

  • The transport of cash and valuable items is a sensitive matter that requires a high level of security
  • Cash is sent in security bags that reveal when attempts have been made to tamper with them
  • Security bags are designed in such a way that they can reveal when attempts have been made to tamper with them using heat, cold, chemicals and mechanical force
  • All of the components must be able to function properly with each other
  • Absolute security is not possible

If you require more information on finding the right adhesive for your application, our adhesive experts would be happy to help.

 

Topics: Verpackung, Security, Packaging

Adhesive tapes – use and function

Posted by Wolfgang Aufmuth on 6/17/19 8:40 AM

When you hear the term adhesive tape, the first thing most of you will probably think of is the traditional adhesive tape used in offices or packing tape used for sealing shipping cartons. This is no surprise. After all, these are the applications that we seem to come across the most in our everyday lives.

When using these adhesive tapes, it is important that they achieve a good bond on the corresponding surface. They usually only have to fulfill their function for a short time. The package is sealed, sent and opened by the recipient – mission accomplished! This means that such adhesive tapes only have minimal demands and comparatively cheap tape materials and adhesives are used.

Masking tape – suitable for everyday use

Removable adhesive tapes, however, have higher demands. One common example can be seen in classic masking tape. Anyone who has painted anything at home knows how important it is to use the correct masking tape. The tape has to meet several requirements here:

  • It has to bond well with the substrate on which it is attached
  • It must not become soft when painted over
  • The bond must be only strong enough so that it can be removed cleanly and without residue from the substrate afterwards

If these requirements are not met, the following can happen:

  • The edges become detached and paint runs behind the tape, or the tape falls off completely
  • The softened tape tears during removal
  • If the adhesive bond is too high, the tape cannot be removed from the substrate or the substrate is damaged on removal

It is thus important that all components – upper material, adhesive, substrate – are in perfect harmony.

These are just two examples of where adhesive tapes are used in everyday life. However, tapes are also used on an even greater scale and under much stricter demands, including in products that we may not even think about.

Tapes

Adhesive tapes in vehicles

Several meters of adhesive tape can be found in our vehicles, for example. Entire cable harnesses are wrapped in adhesive tape so they are easier to install. Many foamed adhesive tapes are also used. In this case, the tape is used for shock absorption and compensates for surface irregularities. These adhesive tapes feature high-quality solvent adhesives that have to maintain their function for many years and in the most varied conditions, from tropical heat in summer to Siberian winters.

Adhesive tapes and passenger transport

Applications in the field of passenger transport have very strict requirements in terms of flammability. Whether double-sided tape for fixing carpets or hook-and-loop tape for fastening headrest covers on aircraft or trains, the tapes must have flame-retardant qualities. In this case, the tape material and adhesive must contain additional flame-retardant components that ideally lead to a flame extinguishing on its own. This means an extremely important additional function also has to be met in addition to the traditional adhesive quality of bonding two materials together. This requires extremely comprehensive formulation expertise at the adhesive manufacturer. Finding the correct formulation brings with it high development efforts.

Adhesive tapes and electronics

Adhesive tapes are also found in our trusty companions – namely smartphones. For example, they are used for fixing the display securely in place. Also used are conductive adhesive tapes that are designed for earthing the devices. This means there are many other electronic appliances where adhesive tapes are required, including tablets, televisions and so on.

Isolation Tapes

Adhesive tapes on the construction site

Adhesive tapes are also regularly used at construction sites. “Airtight construction” has become a common term in recent years. Put simply, this means that air is prevented from passing through the building when the doors and windows are closed. This leads to improved thermal insulation and prevents thermal bridges, which can cause the build-up of moisture and ultimately mold growth. Airtight construction is standard in today’s passive houses. One way in which this is achieved is by using adhesive tapes. Roof underlayments, which are used as a membrane for moisture exchange, have to be connected to one another so that they are airtight. This is ensured by using suitable adhesive tapes that permanently connect the underlayments together. These tapes are partially pre-integrated in the material lines, which makes laying and connecting much easier for the builder. As work takes place in all weather conditions, the underlayments also have to achieve a good bond in rain and cold. Moreover, the tapes also have to ensure that the lines remain airtight for several decades. Fortunately, there are high-quality adhesives available that meet these requirements! Additionally, vapor barriers are also installed under the roof of the house. These are special plastic films that also have to be stuck together reliably for years using adhesive tapes.

Different applications mean different requirements

All of these applications place different demands on the tape material and, above all, on the adhesive. For simple applications such as packing tape, rubber hot melts can be used. Meanwhile, acrylate adhesives are the correct choice for applications where extreme durability and high temperature and chemical resistance are of primary importance.

Summary

To summarize:

  • Adhesive tapes are used in many areas of our everyday life, whether by us ourselves or in the things we use
  • Adhesive tapes have to meet a wide range of different requirements – strong adhesion, easy to remove, able to cope with weather conditions or flame-retardant
  • Rubber hot melts can be used for short-term and simple applications, while acrylate adhesives are preferred for high-end applications

If you require more information on finding the right adhesive for your application, our adhesive experts would be happy to help.

By the way, did you know that adhesive tape is also a great advertising medium? Your company logo or another slogan can be printed on the tape. Thanks to modern digital printing technology, small series of just a few rolls can be produced at relatively low cost.

Topics: Tapes

Linerless labels – why cheap components can end up being expensive in the long run

Posted by Wolfgang Aufmuth on 5/29/19 11:00 AM

Linerless labels have been a hot topic on our website over the past year. This blog has highlighted how the labels are put together, plus their applications and advantages.

This time around, we are focusing on the question of why high-quality individual components should be used and why the use of cheaper alternatives can end up costing much more.

Materials for linerless labels

The following materials are normally required for manufacturing linerless labels:

  • Paper, foil or thermal paper
  • Silicone
  • Adhesive

Linerless labels are sometimes also printed, meaning printing inks are also required.

In this case, printing must be made before the silicone coating is applied so that the ink is between the paper and silicone layers.

Linerless vs. Traditonal Laminate_en_2

High-quality paper and its effect on the silicone

As with many things in life, the manufacturing of linerless rolls demands the use of high-quality materials.

This starts with the paper. The paper should have a surface that is as non-porous as possible. When using thermal papers, we recommend using top-coated versions as the surface here is extremely non-porous. This means that the silicone remains on the surface and can cure well. On papers that are too porous, the liquid silicone penetrates the paper and there is a risk of it not curing correctly. On one hand, this can lead to the adhesive coming into contact with the silicone, meaning the adhesive bond is lost. On the other hand, there is also the risk of deposits occurring relatively quickly on the thermal head of the printer, meaning it has to then be stopped and cleaned. In order to achieve a suitably good release, a certain amount of silicone must remain on the paper surface. If some of the silicone penetrates the paper, the amount of silicone used must therefore be increased to compensate for this. As silicone is expensive, it can occur that the savings achieved by using a cheaper paper are already eaten up by the increased amount of silicone applied.

Using cheaper adhesives – a good idea?

Let’s look at another important component, namely the adhesive.

At first glance, significant savings are possible here. In some cases, there are adhesives on offer for linerless applications for €3.50/kg. This is very tempting when you consider the prices of €4.50/kg offered by other suppliers. Anyone buying 10 tonnes of adhesive per year can quickly save €10,000 – a good deal for the linerless manufacturer.

However, are these savings still apparent at the end of the value chain?

To answer this question, we have to consider the following aspects: The manufactured rolls are sent to the consumers at supermarkets or logistics centers, for example. When used in the printers here, they must not soil the rollers, cutting blade or print head. Only in this way is a long service life and minimal maintenance of the printers guaranteed.

Bild Linerless-2

But is this the case in reality?

Let’s assume a cost difference of €1/kg between the two adhesives. With an application weight of 15 g/m² and a label measuring 60x100 mm (0.006 m²), the cost difference is 0.01 cent/label – not exactly a lot. If 100,000 labels are printed, a high-quality adhesive costs €10 more (or €100 more if 1 million labels are printed). If several printers are in use and many labels are printed, the potential savings when using a cheaper adhesive can add up to several thousand euros per year. However, we also have to consider the printer performance: When using artimelt adhesives, more than 1 million labels can be printed and cut without long downtimes on the printer as a result of soiled rollers, blades or print heads. This has been confirmed as part of comprehensive tests made by an independent printer manufacturer.

If we assume that only 100,000 labels can be printed and cut before maintenance is needed when using cheaper adhesive, the calculations are as follows:

  • Savings when using the cheaper adhesive: €10
  • Replacement of the soiled rollers in the printer: €10
  • Cost of system downtime (1 hour): €200

Using a cheaper adhesive can thus quickly end up costing more money right from the outset.

If a service technician from the weighing instrument manufacturer also has to carry out unplanned maintenance, then things can get very expensive. At an estimated hourly rate of €100 and a half day for the job, €400 in extra costs for the technician would be a fair estimate. And this doesn’t include the further €800 for four hours of system downtime.

In this example, this means that a consumer printing 100,000 labels would end up paying €1,200 in extra costs for using the cheaper adhesive throughout the entire value chain. When extrapolated to 1 million labels, a consumer can thus save €12,000 despite using a more expensive adhesive!

These potential savings are much more significant than the higher cost of the superior adhesive!

And we haven’t even begun to mention the stress and nerves that were saved – a priceless commodity.

Summary

To summarize:

  • High-quality materials are expensive at first glance
  • High-quality components often offer improved processing and product performance
  • Not only the material costs have to be taken into account, but also the total costs across the entire value chain
  • When considering the material costs and processing performance, there are often greater potential savings in using more expensive, high-quality components

If you require more information on finding the right adhesive for your application, our adhesive experts would be happy to help.

linerless-iStock-155160240-1

Topics: Labels

Affixing labels at different temperatures

Posted by Wolfgang Aufmuth on 4/8/19 1:28 PM

Nowadays, a wide range of different labels are available. In addition to various shapes and formats – such as round or rectangular labels with and without rounded corners – an unbelievable amount of different colors are on offer. Labels used in industrial applications are already available in all kinds of colors and printed with an array of motifs. Meanwhile, labels for private use are usually made of paper and are left blank in most cases. These paper labels can then be written on by hand or printed using a standard domestic inkjet or laser printer.

Affixing labels at room temperature
After printing or marking, the labels are then affixed in their intended position. In manual processing – such as in the home – these are usually items that are stored at room temperature. One example of this is removal boxes, which are made of cardboard and are stored in the home in everyday ambient conditions. A paper label attached to the cardboard surface only has to be pressed down firmly for it to remain securely in place.

A similar example is address labels for envelopes. These are either written by hand or printed, then removed from the silicone liner and affixed to the envelope.

In industry, labels for logistics applications are also applied at room temperature.

General purpose adhesives – suitable for use at room temperature – are used here. The formulation of these adhesives means they have to be affixed at temperatures above +10 °C. Below this temperature, the initial tack of the adhesive is insufficient to achieve a suitable bond on the corresponding surface. Once they have been affixed and their final adhesive bond has been reached after 24 hours, these labels remain securely attached to the surface when kept at temperatures ranging from around -10 °C to around +70 °C.

label in fridge

Semi-deep-freeze adhesives for applications at temperatures as low as -5 °C
However, not all applications are set up for labeling at +10 °C and above. In industrial applications, temperatures in unheated halls can fall below +10 °C in winter months. General purpose adhesives are too hard in such cases, meaning they can no longer achieve a suitable bond on the corresponding surface. In such situations, a softer adhesive formulation is required. These are often called semi-deep-freeze adhesives. Thanks to their special formulation, they are soft enough to achieve a good initial tack at temperatures as low as -5 °C. Labels with semi-deep-freeze adhesives can then be used for labeling plastic containers stored in the refrigerator, for example.

As these adhesives have an excellent initial tack, they are also often repurposed for applications at room temperature – such as on rough cardboard, for example. Here, the adhesives can also demonstrate their excellent adhesive qualities.

Labeling at -25 °C with deep-freeze adhesives
Foodstuffs such as meat and sausages are frozen for storage as they would otherwise spoil quickly. As these products also have to be marked accordingly, labels are also used here. However, the storage temperatures are significantly below -5 °C – freezers in the home have a temperature of -18 °C – which means semi-deep-freeze adhesives cannot be used here. An even softer adhesive is required here so that the labels also achieve a sufficient bond at temperatures as low as -25 °C. Sometimes, the surface to be labeled also has a fine layer of condensation, which makes labeling even more difficult.

Label for meat

Deep-freeze adhesives are available for such applications. These achieve a good bond at temperatures as low as -25 °C – including on slightly moist surfaces. These adhesives are very aggressive and tacky. As they achieve a rapid bond with the surface, labels are manufactured in this way for use on high-speed labelers. One to two labels are dispensed per second. In some cases, labels are no longer applied using pressure, but are instead blown onto the surface by an air jet. The labels must achieve a secure bond with the surface and must not become detached. This poses some significant challenges in terms of the adhesive.

Deep-freeze adhesives are so soft that they can be used at temperatures between -40 °C and +40 °C. However, the adhesive bond at room temperature is not particularly high.

Nonetheless, this characteristic also allows them to be used in applications where the label has to be removed after carrying out its function.

Different applications for deep-freeze adhesives
Deep-freeze adhesives are thus also a popular choice where easily detachable labels are required.

Applications at low temperatures continue to be dominated by hot melts.

Dispersion adhesives can also be used for applications at room temperature. While the focus remains on hot melts when it comes to semi-deep-freeze adhesives, dispersion adhesives have made some major advances and are also seen in certain semi-deep-freeze applications.

Adhesives for temperatures as low as -200 °C
Additionally, there are also applications in the medical field where significantly lower storage temperatures of as low as -200 °C are the norm. Of course, samples that are stored in ampules or test tubes and cooled with nitrogen have to be clearly labeled and identifiable. Labels for such applications use special cryogenic adhesives containing acrylate. Labeling is often made at room temperature here, after which cooling takes place.

Summary
To summarize:

  • Products are labeled at different temperatures
  • After labeling, products are stored at different temperatures
  • Users must choose between general purpose adhesives, semi-deep-freeze adhesives, deep-freeze adhesives or cryogenic adhesives
  • The appropriate adhesive must be selected according to the applicable temperature range
If you require more information on finding the right adhesive for your application, our adhesive experts would be happy to help.

Topics: Labels

Strong adhesive effect on demanding surfaces - artimeltsurface

Posted by Wolfgang Aufmuth on 1/31/19 3:24 PM

Strong adhesive label
We’re sure you’re familiar with the situation – a customer has requested a strongly adhesive label that is affixed to a cardboard box and is either destroyed or damages the underlying layer when removed. VOID labeling is not required in this case. With this in mind, you look for a self-adhesive laminate with the strongest adhesive available and are convinced that the customer will be happy with the results. The customer tests your label and discovers that the label – despite its strong adhesive qualities – can be removed without major difficulty. But why?

However an easy removal is possible - why?
Many cardboard boxes are not only used for packaging and protecting the product inside – such as a box of rice or cornflakes, for example. Instead, the packaging has another role to play, namely to look good, make a high-quality impression and entice the consumer to buy it.

This is extremely important, particularly for high-quality products such as perfumes or expensive cosmetics. If you take a look when shopping, you will see that the more expensive the product, the higher quality the packaging.

Paint at the packaging
In order for the packaging to appeal to the consumer, it has complex printing and also embossing in some cases. In addition to all the different paints used, the packaging is also given a gloss or matt coating. The role of this coating is to protect the paints from mechanical influences (such as scratches), not to mention repelling dust and dirt and preventing fingerprints. After all, who wants to buy something that is covered in fingerprints?

In order for the coating to meet the aforementioned requirements, it needs special additives. One of these components is often silicone. Silicone has a low surface tension and is thus extremely repellent against grease, dirt and dust. However, silicone is also extremely repellent against adhesives as well! This means that siliconized liners are also used when manufacturing labels. Put simply, adhesives do not stick well on surfaces that contain silicone – the bond is not strong enough and the label can be removed relatively easily.

Adhesive effect increases over time
We have found a solution to this problem in artimeltsurface, which is processed and coated just like a normal hot-melt adhesive. Labels with artimeltsurface are applied in the same way as conventional labels. Now comes the magic – the adhesive has been designed in such a way that the bond with a surface containing silicone becomes stronger and stronger over time. As demonstrated in laboratory tests on such surfaces, the adhesive strength constantly increases. After just a few days, it is then no longer possible to remove the label from the surface without leaving traces. Either the label tears or the surface of the packaging is destroyed.

We received a sample packaging from one of our customers with the task of finding a suitable adhesive – one that allows RF labels to be affixed so that they cannot be removed without damaging the surface (RF labels are used for the electronic safeguarding of goods using radio frequencies).

artimeltsurface was the perfect solution here. The RF label was destroyed completely when it was removed from the packaging. It was only possible to remove it from the packaging in small pieces. Moreover, the coating was also torn from the box at the point where the label was attached. It was thus clear that the box had been manipulated.

artimeltsurface auf Kartonage

Tamper-proof sealing
The avoidance of manipulation of this kind will be of critical importance to all pharmaceutical manufacturers from February 9, 2019, when the EU directive for preventing falsified medicinal products (2011/62/EU) comes into force. This directive helps manufacturers, wholesalers and logistics providers in the pharmaceuticals industry in their fight against counterfeit drugs and thus also increases patient safety. Among other features, the packaging has to be protected against falsification in addition to clear identification via barcode. In other words, it must be possible for the consumer to determine whether the packaging has been sealed by the manufacturer at the factory or has already been opened.

This can be ensured with a closure label. However, packaging of this kind is also often treated with a protective coating containing silicone, which means a sufficient bond cannot be achieved using standard adhesives. The label can then be removed undetected, the contents replaced and the packaging resealed.

However, if artimeltsurface is used, the label or box is destroyed in most cases. This thus meets the EU directive for preventing falsified medicinal products in terms of tamper-proof sealing.

Anwendungsbeispiel-L1-1452[1]-1

Adhesive bonds also under water
artimeltsurface can also be used for adhesive bonds under water. Examinations have shown that adhesive tapes with artimeltsurface achieve good adhesion on smooth surfaces underwater. For example, you can then seal cracks in your swimming pool from inside in summer without having to drain the water. The only thing you may require in this case is diving gear!

IMG_1606

If you require more information on artimeltsurface, our adhesive experts would be happy to help.

Press release artimeltsurface, January 2019

Topics: ICE 2019, Security

Color-changing adhesives through manipulation - artimeltsepia

Posted by Wolfgang Aufmuth on 1/31/19 3:23 PM

You’re probably asking yourself what sepia has to do with adhesives. Isn’t this the Latin name of something you would usually find in the sea?

Read on to find out the answer in this blog!

First of all, you should be aware that artimelt is a manufacturer of hot-melt adhesives for niche applications. Commodities – in other words, run-of-the-mill adhesives – are not our thing. We are committed to finding the solution to your application problems with our adhesives. And these problems are many and varied.

But what does this have to do with artimeltsepia?
artimeltsepia is a range of hot-melt adhesives with a very special feature. In fact, this is the same feature that a cuttlefish (or in Latin, Sepia apama) has – it can change color.

Take a look at the this video.

Here you can see how a cuttlefish changes color in quick succession.

Our products in the artimeltsepia range can do the same – a little slower, admittedly, but what counts is the end result.

But what do I need products like this for?
Imagine today was a hot summer’s day. The sun has been beating down for hours, and you start to feel thirsty. Time for a nice cool drink. But no, the bottle is too warm to enjoy properly. There’s nothing for it but to put it in the fridge to cool. But how can you tell when your drink is cold enough …

artimeltsepia color-changing adhesives can help here. A transparent label coated with adhesive from the artimeltsepia range shows when your drink has reached the right temperature. The adhesive is transparent at room temperature. However, as soon as the temperature drops below +8 °C, the label turns blue. A blue label is thus a sure sign that your drink is cool enough to enjoy!

artiCoolmelt aquaduo2

How about another example?
Imagine you are a manufacturer of security products, with adhesives playing an important role in the overall security concept. As with many flexible products and components, adhesives become hard and brittle at low temperatures. In this case, the temperature is below the so-called service temperature. In extreme cases, this can lead to a loss of adhesion and the security function not working as it should. The result is product failure.

Let us explain here in more detail
Each adhesive has an optimal operating temperature. Firstly, the label or adhesive tape is applied. This is known as the application temperature. For adhesives used at room temperature, the minimum application temperature is approximately +10 °C. This means that the bond has to be made above this temperature, otherwise the adhesive does not achieve a sufficient initial adhesion and the bond is not made. If the bond is established successfully, adhesion can only be ensured within a certain temperature range. This range is known as the service temperature. For adhesives used at room temperature, this range is approximately -10 °C to +60 °C. Outside this range, the bond can fail – especially when it is subjected to force.

This is where the adhesives from the artimeltsepia range come into play. We have developed a product that is pink in color at room temperature. If the adhesive is now subjected to intensive cooling, it changes color from pink to violet and remains so when warmed back up to room temperature.

If the bond should fail, then you can determine whether the temperature has dropped below the service temperature of the adhesive according to the adhesive color.

A classic example of this can be found in sealing labels, which are used for maintaining warranty claims on electronic devices, among other applications. The consumer purchases an electronic device that is screwed together. If the screws are not sealed, then they can be removed and the device opened. If the device then no longer works properly, the consumer exchanges or returns it. Normal sealing labels can often be removed without noticeably affecting the sealing effect by subjecting them to low temperatures. The consumer can spray the label with cold spray, for example. The adhesive becomes brittle, loses its adhesion and can be removed undetected without leaving any residue. The label is reattached as soon as it has reached room temperature and the adhesive becomes sticky once again. The manipulation is undetectable.

artimeltsepia original

cold

artimeltsepia cold

This is not the case when using artimeltsepia. If the label is sprayed with cold spray, the adhesive color changes from pink to violet. While the label can still be removed undetected as before and reattached at room temperature, the change in color clearly indicates that a manipulation has taken place here.

These are just two of the possible applications for the artimeltsepia product range. We are sure that you will already have other applications in mind where artimeltsepia adhesives can be used.

Free selective adhesive properties
The adhesive properties can be freely selected here. You can choose between a strongly adhesive rubber-based adhesive with corresponding color-changing properties or a UV-curing product with moderate adhesive properties. When it comes to the possibilities, the sky is (almost) the limit.

Get in touch with our adhesive experts today.

 

Topics: ICE 2019, Security

Linerless labels: What are they and what do I Need?

Posted by Wolfgang Aufmuth on 1/31/19 3:21 PM

Introduction
Labels are an integral part of our everyday life. They are used for carrying advertising and information and we perceive them both consciously and often also unconsciously.

But did you know that 50% of a label ends up as waste?

Usually, labels are supplied on a release liner. This liner is disposed of as waste after the label has been applied. If a label could be supplied without a liner, then hundreds of tons of non-recyclable paper waste could be saved.

What does a linerless label consist of?
Classic labels are supplied on a release liner. After the label has been applied, this liner is disposed of as waste.

As the name suggests, linerless labels do without this liner. Instead, the adhesive layer is attached directly to the paper layer underneath in a similar way to a roll of adhesive tape.

Which applications are covered by linerless labels?
Linerless labels are manufactured from transparent foils or paper. The labels can be printed in color or – as in many cases – left unprinted. Thermal papers are normally used. The labels are printed with information using a thermal printer immediately before application. As they have no liner, they cannot be punched in various different shapes. While the label length is variable, the label format can only be rectangular. As a result, linerless labels are the ideal solution when it comes to displaying short-term, informative content. Labels that are used at the point of sale to persuade consumers to buy products should still be manufactured with classic release liners as before.

Bild Linerless

What are the advantages of linerless labels?
As linerless labels do not require a liner, they have several advantages:

  • 50 to 60% more labels per roll
  • Less storage space required for the same number of labels
  • Fewer roll changes
  • Variable label length and flexible print format
  • No scrap web waste
  • No liner waste
  • No storage space required for release liner waste
  • No transport and disposal costs for release liner and scrap web waste
  • Saves resources
  • Environmentally friendly
  • 30% reduction in material costs
  • Up to 15% savings in total costs

What do I need to manufacture a linerless label?

  • Paper, foil or thermal paper
  • Silicone
  • Adhesive
Linerless vs. Traditonal Laminate_en_2

Can I use any paper, silicone or adhesive?
The answer here is a resounding “no”!

Only use high-quality thermal papers, silicones and adhesives. The thermal papers must be such that good fixation of the adhesive to the reverse side is possible. At the same time, they must also be impermeable so that no part of the adhesive can penetrate through the paper into the thermal layer and render the printed information illegible. The surface must be such that good fixation of the silicone is guaranteed without the silicone being absorbed into the surface and eliminating the separation effect.

The silicones are usually UV-curing. Pay attention to the correct viscosity! When the viscosity is low, the silicone penetrates the surface of the paper and can then no longer be cured sufficiently.

A decisive factor is selecting the right adhesive. Aqueous adhesives penetrate the paper structure and have to then dry out. The paper warps during drying and renders the label roll unusable. This rules out both dispersion adhesives and solvent-based adhesives, thus leaving classic hot melts and radiation hot melts. Classic hot melts are easy to apply – simply melt, coat, wind and you’re done. Selecting the right product is also important when using hot melts! After all, the adhesive has to meet not just one but several different requirements in this case:

  1. It must be possible to detach it from the silicone layer
  2. It must not soil the rollers of the printing system
  3. It must not soil the cutting device
  4. It must ensure secure adhesion of the label on the corresponding product

All of these requirements can only be met when adhesives of the highest quality are used.

Summary
Linerless labels are currently a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to classic labels. While the area of application is limited, it is absolutely sufficient for labels with short-term, informative content – such as labels used in logistics.

Ensure the components used are of high quality to prevent unpleasant surprises.

Want to find out more about artimeltlinerless? Contact artimelt today.

versandkarton-shutterstock_689930140

 

Topics: ICE 2019, Labels

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