Im Rangwalla has over 30 years of experience in EB processing especially applications of EB for packaging applications. Im has presented and published several papers at various conferences on EB processing and also has several patents in that field.

Currently Im works in the sales and marketing group as a Market Development Manager. He has a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, and also a Masters in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University Boston MA.

How to Sustainably Create Recyclable Packaging Through the Use of Electron Beam Curable Inks In the Printing Process

Im Rangwalla, Energy Sciences Incorporated; Jordi Puigand Felip Ferrer, Comexi

This document relates to the process of creation a Recyclable packaging through all the conversion process from the raw material till the final packaging, and specifically how the use of Electron Beam curable inks in the printing process (either Flexographic or Offset printing) can help in achieving this Recyclable packaging in the most sustainable way.

In the process of creation of a packaging there are several processes and materials involved:

  • Selection of the raw material, either can be film or paper, single layer or multiple layers, and single material or multiple material… Among the materials used we can find:
    • Paper
    • Films: PE, PET, OPP, PA…. Or combination of them
    • Foil
    • Any combination of the three previous materials to create a packaging with the required properties
  • Printing process & technology:
    • Flexographic, Rotogravure or Offset
    • Water based inks, Solvent Based inks or Curable Inks
  • Lamination (in case of multiple layers):
    • Solventless lamination
    • Solvent based or Water based lamination
  • Slitting
  • Package forming and filling:
    • Sacks
    • Pouches

If the packaging can be made in a single material it becomes more recyclable, in addition when this package can be made on a single film layer (avoiding lamination) it becomes an overall process more sustainable and recyclable.

From the point of view of having a more sustainable process, first step is to minimize the CO2 footprint of the different processes. So, if in the printing process we can avoid the use of solvents and we can reduce the energy consumption it will also become a more sustainable overall process…

In this paper we will show and demonstrate how the use of Electron Beam curable inks, either in Offset Printing or in Flexographic Printing can help to reduce the CO2 footprint thanks to the Reduction of the use and emissions of solvents when printing in Flexography in more than 80%, and 100% (total elimination) when printing in Offset technology.

So as an overall, we will show and demonstrate how the use of Electron Beam curable inks can help not only in making more sustainable the process of creating a packaging, but also in making easier to recycle the final packaging.