Premium ink system contributes to better quality recyclate

The cross-sector project “Recyclate Initiative”, organised by leading companies from the plastic, ink and recycling industries, including hubergroup, has reached an important milestone. Extensive testing to improve the recyclate quality of polyolefin foils has confirmed that the recycling properties of BOPP/BOPP laminates can be significantly improved by using the appropriate ink systems. The result is a high-quality granulate with material properties comparable to virgin materials. This granulate can then be processed, e.g. using injection moulding technology, for use in the automotive industry, for example. Packaging is therefore given a new lease of life in high-quality applications.

Ink is a major factor for high-quality recyclate

Ink has a demonstrably significant impact on the quality of recyclate. Previous use of a standard NC ink system did not deliver the desired results. Decomposition products discolour the regranulate and significantly deteriorate the mechanical and sensory properties.

Dr Christian Schirrmacher, technical representative for hubergroup Print Solutions in this project, reports on the development process: “Our first challenge was to understand the recycling process on a chemical and physical level. Subsequently, in the second phase of the project we developed laboratory methods in order to find raw materials that meet the complex requirements of this process. From this information, we were able to determine suitable ink formulations.”

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Written by Kevin Gambrill