With conventional self-adhesive labels, as much as 40% of the total material goes into the trash. As soon as the label is removed, the paper or plastic backing material is no longer required. This results in mountains of waste, and in Europe alone, up to 300,000 metric tons per year of paper and plastic liners end in landfill and incineration plants.
Naturally the labels need to stick well at the intended point of application and do their job, and this is where ultraviolet light comes in: The Evonik silicones form a network when subjected to UV radiation and then cure. This way they adhere to the intended surface in just a fraction of a second. With conventional self-adhesive labels, this effect is achieved through heat, which requires more energy.
The Evonik technology not only reduces waste but also saves energy consumption compared to label systems with thermally cured silicones and it protects the label itself. This is referred to as “radiation cured” and is the “RC” in the brand name of Evonik’s TEGO RC Silicones.
Examples in daily life are packages of delivery services, or in the supermarket at the cheese counter; in both cases, linerless labels are applied for providing all the variable information print (VIP) that’s needed about the goods on a thermal paper. For such heat sensitive thermal paper, Evonik launched a special product TEGO RC 1717 at this year's Labelexpo Europe.
The coating layer obtained with TEGO RC 1717 enables the use of more economical thermal paper that has no top coat, which results in significant cost savings. TEGO RC 1717 is used in combination with both TEGO RC 902 and TEGO Photoinitiator A18. This blend offers good silicone hold out and improved silicone anchorage, providing stable premium release properties over time and shows enhanced thermal printing performance with no silicone build-up on printing heads. Additionally, substrates coated with the above blend are safe to use in food applications (ISEGA).
With such cost-effective thermal papers able to be used, Evonik’s RC technology provides an economic advantage, as well as the ecological benefits from reducing wastage and using less energy.