Coordinated by the company QUIMOVIL, the project AQUAFLEX will allow the development of a new generation of water-based inks for the food packaging sector.
The new flexographic inks will allow a reduction of VOC emissions by 90-95 % to a competitive cost. The company QUIMOVIL and AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, have begun a project funded by the Ministry of Economics through the programme RETOS COLABORACIÓN to allow the development of new printing water-based laminable flexographic inks for the flexible packaging industry that will allow a reduction of VOC emissions.
Currently, a high percentage of flexible food packaging is manufactured by using solvent-based inks, due to the high quality and productivity needs in the printing and lamination processes. This kind of components have a number of drawbacks, such as the VOC emission into the atmosphere, security risks due to the flammability of inks and varnishes, as well as the high investment and maintenance costs to recover solvents during printing.
Through the development of the project AQUAFLEX, coordinated by QUIMOVIL, it is expected to get a new formulation of laminable water-based flexographic inks with the same printing and laminating quality properties as solvent-based inks. The new product will allow a reduction of VOC emissions by 90-95 % to a competitive cost. For that purpose, some of the challenges of this project involve improving the print speeds of water-based inks and reducing their energy consumption in the drying process.