Recycling made easy - thanks to the right adhesive

Posted by Muamer Mujkic on 2/18/20 10:59 AM

“Reduce – Reuse – Recycle – Dispose of”

These buzzwords are now part of our everyday life, just like the products we buy and which have to be “disposed of” after use.

The number of people on our planet is growing day by day and with it the amount of disposed products and mountains of rubbish. The above-mentioned approach seems perfectly understandable.

The first step is to reduce waste. For example, products can be purchased without unnecessary repackaging. If reduction is not possible, things should be reused, for example by repairing defective electrical appliances. If re-use is also not possible, recycling should be used to reuse the waste and thus the components as reusable materials.

If you would like to learn more about the waste pyramid in detail, click here on the following link:

https://www.bmu-kids.de/wissen/boden-und-wasser/abfall/abfallpyramide/

Recycling and adhesive – can that work?

Well, how does it all actually work when adhesive is involved? Many products are assembled with adhesive. In the packaging industry the packages are sealed with adhesive. Often products are also labelled – either with foil or paper labels. Let’s take drink bottles. These are provided with a paper or plastic label. In order for the bottle to be reused (as in the case of glass) or processed with the recycling process (PET bottles), the labels must be removed. This is usually carried out by machine. The bottle is subjected to a special cleaning process during which the label is removed. This requires not only suitable label material, but also the right adhesive. Otherwise the label will not peel off or adhesive residues will remain on the bottle. In both cases, the bottle cannot be reused or subjected to the recycling process.

Removable adhesive for paper labels on plastic bags

A second example: plastic bags. Unpackaged fruit and vegetables bought in the supermarket are placed in a plastic bag, weighed and labelled. After use, the bag could be recycled – but the paper label is in the way. So it has to be removed. A removable adhesive helps here!

artimelts recycling-friendly hot melt

However, there are also products in which the adhesive fulfils a more important function than in the above examples. Namely as a secure closure for shipping bags or for money and valuables transport (you can read the exact function in our blog "What is important when transporting money and valuable items?". Here the adhesive is permanently integrated into the finished product and cannot be removed easily. Since the rubber in the hot melt interferes with the recycling process, the plastic shipping bags are difficult to recycle and are therefore often disposed of. artimelt wanted to remedy this situation and has developed a recycling-friendly hot melt that behaves much more neutrally in the recycling process than other rubber-based adhesives.

Let me sum up:

  • Waste that cannot be reduced should be reused or recycled
  • Recycling is only possible if there are no disturbing foreign substances
  • The right adhesive facilitates the recycling process by allowing labels to be removed, or by ensuring that the adhesive does not interfere with the recycling process in general.

Talk to our adhesive experts to find the right adhesive for your application.

Topics: Security, Labels, Packaging

Adhesive for Document and Goods Transport

Posted by Muamer Mujkic on 1/28/20 9:32 AM

Are you still one of those people who go to shops and department stores to buy food, clothes, and electrical appliances, etc.? Or are you a user of the modern, virtual shopping malls that are open at any time of the day or night and whose range of goods far surpasses that of physical shops? Whichever group you belong to: just read on.

Online trading and shipping

Online trading is growing every year. Unlike in local shops, however, the customer cannot simply take the goods home after giving them a thorough inspection; instead, they must be brought to the customer. For large products, such as refrigerators, this is done by a forwarding agent, for smaller articles, in a parcel, and for small, flexible products, such as textiles, in an opaque plastic or paper envelope which is sealed with an adhesive.

Temperature-resistant adhesive for padded envelopes

This envelope has several functions at once, e.g.

  • It must be opaque so that no one can see which product is contained within.
  • It must protect the product against environmental influences.
  • It must be closed in such a way that nobody can take or add anything unnoticed.

And this at any time of day or night and in summer as well as in winter!

These requirements also place high demands on the adhesive, which is responsible for the secure closure of the envelope.

On the one hand, the adhesive, which is simply coated onto the closure flap of the envelope as a narrow strip a few millimeters wide, must have a high initial adhesion. This is because the envelope is filled, sealed, labelled and shipped immediately. There is no time to press the closure tab of the envelope firmly and wait until the adhesive finally sticks. Afterwards, the envelope will go on journeys all over the world. In tropical regions with high temperatures and high humidity or in areas as cold as the Arctic. And the adhesive must always keep the envelope neatly sealed.

This requirement can only be met with carefully selected and tested adhesive formulations. An incorrectly selected adhesive will see the padded envelope open during transport. The goods will fall out and get damaged or get lost. Complaints are inevitable.

Although it is only a matter of sending goods or simple documents, the requirements placed on the envelope are already very high.

Adhesive applications for shipping in the security sector

Applications in the security sector have even higher requirements. Here we are talking about the dispatch of cash, highly valuable documents or forensic samples. You can read about the requirements placed on an envelope in this sector and the special solutions that exist in our blog “What is important when transporting money and valuable items?”

Summary

I'll sum it up:

  • Padded envelopes made of plastic must fulfill several functions.
  • The adhesive must ensure the secure closure of the envelope.
  • It must do so in regions with extremely hot or cold conditions.
  • Applications in security areas require special solutions.

Talk to our adhesive experts to find the right adhesive for your application. We look forward to hearing from you and are at your disposal.

Topics: Security, Labels, Packaging

Changing your adhesives to UV technology

Posted by Muamer Mujkic on 1/7/20 8:50 AM

UV curable adhesives are a modern adhesive technology that offers many advantages. We at artimelt can look back on more than 20 years of experience in the development of radiation curable UV adhesives and are happy to pass on our artimelt knowledge to you for the switch to UV technology. This artimelt blog is intended to help processors of adhesives make the decision to switch to UV technology.

Change from rubber-based hot melt to UV-curable adhesives

artimelt assumes that, up to this point, you have been processing classic rubber-based hot melt. In this case the step to UV curable adhesives is a small one. You will already be familiar with hot melt, know how it is processed and have the appropriate equipment, such as a barrel melter, buffer tank and a coating plant in-house. You will also be familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of rubber-based hot melt, such as easy processing, good adhesion at low temperatures, or low weather resistance or temperature resistance. The first question to be answered now is whether you need the positive properties of UV curable adhesives for your products, such as:

  • High temperature resistance up to 200°C
  • High chemical resistance
  • High UV resistance and therefore suitable for outdoor applications
  • Approval for direct food contact
  • Good punching properties

artimelt UV adhesives fulfill all these positive properties. In close cooperation, artimelt develops tailor-made UV adhesives for you, which are perfectly suited to your processing possibilities and fields of application.

Upgrade your coating systems with UV lamps

You can continue to use your existing coating system, but you will have to “upgrade” it. artimelt recommends the following: Talk to a UV equipment manufacturer and tell them what you want to do. Tell him you need UV lamps that emit in the UVC range so that artimelt adhesives can be cross-linked. Also consider the following points:

  • How wide is my system?
  • At what speed do I want to operate my system?
  • How high is the coating weight going to be?
  • How much space do I have on my existing hot melt system for UV lamp installation?
  • Would I like to have the latest measurement and control technology that measures the UV output during system operation and adjusts it to the target value, or would I like to check and readjust it manually?

All these points ultimately have an influence on the entirety of the equipment and thus also on your investment costs.

Invest for the future: more UV lamps, separate barrel melting units, buffer tank and hose lines

A very important artimelt tip: Don't just have the UV system designed to meet your current needs. Think about the future and invest in more lamp units than you need today. This has the following advantages:

  • You can coat a higher coating weight and network safely.
  • You can increase the coating speed.
  • If the existing lamp fails, you can switch on the spare lamp and continue production.

artimelt also recommends investing in separate barrel melting units, buffer tanks and hose lines to the application head. UV curable adhesives are not compatible with other hot melt systems and can lead to gel formation when mixed, resulting in a poor coating appearance.

With this additional equipment you can kill several birds with one stone:

  • You can very quickly switch from classic hot melt to UV adhesives.
  • You will save yourself the time-consuming cleaning of barrel melter, buffer tank and hose lines every time the adhesive is changed.
  • You will avoid the risk of gel formation.

Summary

artimelt has summarized the most important points for you:

  • First answer the question whether you need the properties of the UV adhesives.
  • You will need lamps that emit in the UVC range.
  • Think about the future and invest in more lamp units than you need today.
  • Invest in additional peripheral equipment such as a barrel melter, buffer tank and hose lines.

artimelt has comprehensive know-how regarding UV adhesives and the best contacts to equipment manufacturers. Let your artimelt Key Account Manager advise you.

Topics: Medical, Building / Components, Tapes, Security, Labels, Packaging

Adhesive for sterile environments

Posted by Muamer Mujkic on 10/24/19 2:19 PM

A large number of medical products are packaged and sterilized, including plasters, medical tape, surgery drapes and ECG electrodes. All of these products use an adhesive. The packaging is also often closed or sealed with an adhesive. The adhesive must be able to withstand the sterilization processes commonly used without its properties changing. Furthermore, the sterile properties of the product must remain the same over a long period of time.

There is a difference between adhesives that form direct bonds on the skin and those that are used as laminating adhesives and do not come into direct contact with human skin. Adhesives that are allowed to come into direct contact with skin are used in the manufacture of plasters, such as artimelt M11.1506, which is ideal for contact with sensitive skin. Surgery drapes are often made up of multiple layers. The individual layers are stuck together using a laminating adhesive such as artimelt M12.317. Sometimes, a self-adhesive edge strip is applied to ensure that the drape can be affixed to the patient’s skin. artimelt M11.1566 is very well suited for this purpose.

Laminating adhesives are also used in the manufacture of ECG electrodes in order to ensure that the individual components remain reliably and constantly stuck together. At room temperature, these adhesives are dry and non-sticky. However, once they are warmed up, they become soft and their adhesive properties are awakened. The adhesive subsequently forms a bond to the substrate when pressure is applied. These adhesives are different from pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSA) that are constantly sticky and must be covered with a release liner.

During the sterilization process, the question of “what happens to the adhesive?!” is always asked. Does the form, color, smell, etc. of the adhesive change? artimelt carried out a comprehensive study and subjected selected artimelt adhesives to individual sterilization methods:

  • Ethylene oxide sterilization (EtO)
  • Gamma radiation
  • X-ray radiation

The results from the investigation into artimelt M11.1566 – an adhesive for plasters and tapes – are listed as an example.

artimelt medical_Auswertung Sterilisation_hotmeltExtract from the results for the artimelt M11.1566 adhesive

The chart shows the change in the adhesion and cohesion values following sterilization.

The “0-value” values show the adhesive properties prior to sterilization. Depending on the method used, barely any differences were recorded. This means that the adhesive almost retains its original properties. The sterilization process can even be said to have positive effects on the adhesive, as the cohesion – and therefore the internal strength – increase and the adhesion remains the same! Based on this study, we can say that the artimelt adhesives are ideally suited for sterilization.

artimelt adhesives

In addition to high-quality raw materials, extensive specialist knowledge is also required to manufacture premium products for medical applications. artimelt has over 30 years’ experience in the development and manufacture of adhesives for medical applications. artimelt adhesives form a secure bond and can still be removed from human skin without causing any pain or leaving any residue behind. In addition, the special formulations are breathable and thus prevent the skin from macerating. It comes as no surprise that artimelt adhesives are tested for their suitability for coming into contact with human skin and are classified as being harmless.

artimelt meets the high standards demanded in the heavily regulated market for medical and sterile applications. We also offer the right products for related markets in which there are high safety standards, such as in the foodstuffs and cosmetics industries. artimelt customers are not only able to choose products from the existing range – artimelt can work in close coordination with customers to develop tailor-made adhesive solutions that are a perfect fit with their processing methods and fields of application.

If you have any questions related to adhesives for use in a sterile environment, please do not hesitate to contact us. The artimelt team would be delighted to hear from you.

Topics: Medical, Packaging

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

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