How exactly do you create a superb finish on corrugated board? To understand the resin, you also need to understand the substrate – because, as the packaging industry matures and grows, so too does the innovation philosophy behind it. Building knowledge about how consumers react to paper and board – not least through the feel and tactility of the substrate – is what increasingly drives our quest to create a new generation of coating resins. But that’s only half the story, of course. As our resins are increasingly used as the backbones of inks and ink-receptive coatings, we continue to gain a better understanding of the technologies and equipment that make plain board and paper as pretty as a picture.
“Even at the most complex, macroscopic scientific level, coating resin performance often comes down to a simple question of ‘does it stick?’ And, if not, why not? This is what we’re solving in the DSM analytics lab every day. We’re an advocate for the customer and user, ensuring that resins perform on the substrate as advertised.
Using macroscopic equipment, we’re looking at bubbles and cracks on the raw material, and all kinds of other general failures. So, when we invite customers into the lab to see for themselves, it’s quite literally an eye-opening experience. They’ve often never seen their product up close and personal in that way."
"With a little help from us, they can see the defects we’ve identified and perhaps the underlying reasons behind it. What’s more, they get to see the nature of the raw material up close, which, even now, I find fascinating.
What’s really interesting is that, often, the problems we identify are due to the nature of the substrate itself – not just paper and board, but also wood, plastic, metals, you name it. What this often means is that, for good adhesion, you need to change the surface structure itself, i.e. before any coating is applied. Even if the problem isn’t related to the resin, we’ll help to solve substrate issues. So, you could say we’re here in an advisory capacity. Ultimately, it’s a team effort.”
Qi Chen, Scientist Analytical
"If the inkjet printhead is the 'heart' then the ink is its blood. And just like blood, it's complex. It can coagulate, disrupting the flow – and that's the biggest challenge we face in single-pass inkjet printing machines. In paper and board applications, as well as in textiles and plastics, nozzle failure can be catastrophic for the printer.
It's why we work with leading inkjet ink producers and OEMs to create tailored solutions of really well-balanced and more sustainable waterborne resins that deliver the reliable, consistent flow and performance that is so critical for high-speed lines where every minute counts. The resin technologies can be tailored to various brands and applications. Food contact applications is a very promising area."
Paul Honen, Global Industry Manager Printing & Packaging