Hubergroup Print Solutions is launching a barrier coating that protects packs against water. By using a revised formulation of the binding agents for water-based coatings, the company says that there is no longer any need for PE film lamination as a water barrier.

Paper packaging that uses the new solution, which is now available worldwide, can be recycled in established paper recycling systems.

The use of the HYDRO-X GA Water Barrier Coating can, the company says, facilitate the change from laminate structures to mono-material paper. For this step, one more available inking unit is needed in order to apply the coating.

In terms of potential applications, Hubergroup identifies the solution as being particularly suitable for use in the packaging industry, specifically for packaging moisture-sensitive foodstuffs such as sugar, flour, and dry animal food.

The company adds that its new coating is also suitable for applications in the non-food sector, for example, cement packaging and secondary packaging for copy paper. The HYDRO-X GA Water Barrier Coating is suitable for both coated and uncoated paper.

Following successful results from laboratory tests, in spring 2020 Hubergroup also began testing the coating in a real-world environment together with a customer. This involved print testing on different machines.

Dr. Christian Schirrmacher, global project manager for water-based inks, explains: “The results were so impressive that we immediately received an order from our customer. They were particularly impressed by the elimination of a step in the production process.”

Dr. Lutz Frischmann, global product director for flexible packaging, adds that the packaging industry is undergoing major change. He recognises a clear trend towards mono-materials and therefore towards barrier coatings: “At present, we are working intensively to develop and manufacture additional protective coatings, such as an oxygen barrier coating. Due to the sustainability aspect, we see big potential in these product groups.”