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Flexo Sustainable : End of Year 2008
Table 1. Comparison of Flexographic Printing Processes and Ink requirements Ink Type Water-Based for Paper Ink Chemistry Various resin types Drying Process* VOC Composition Typical % VOC On-Press Emission Controls Evaporation NA 0 Ventilation Water-Based For Film Various resin types Evaporation Alcohols or other solvents 0-2 Ventilation Solvent-Based For Paper/Board Various resinsolvent combo Evaporation Various solvents 40-70 Afterburners Solvent-Based For Film Various resinsolvent combo Evaporation Energy Curing For Paper/Board Acrylic monomers and oligomers Polymerization upon exposure to UV light or electron beam Energy Curing For Film Acrylic monomers and oligomers Polymerization upon exposure to UV light or electron beam Various solvents 40-70 Afterburners Unknown 0-5 Ventilation for ozone Unknown *When printing on paper or board, some drying takes place due to substrate absorption 0-5 Ventilation for ozone type of ink has limitations in terms of the level of volatile content and ability to utilize renewable raw materials. (See Table 1). Listed below are some of the key formulation tools that can be utilized to lessen the environmental impact of flexographic printing inks. •Using bio-derived renewable raw materials Minimizing or reducing the level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Minimizing, reducing or eliminating hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) Eliminating raw materials which contain toxic heavy metals Eliminating materials that are classified as toxic or known carcinogens www. f le xomag.com Ensuring that ink waste can be classified as nonhazardous Ensuring the dry ink does not impede any potential recycling or biodegradation classification of the printed product Individual ink systems have specific performance criteria that can limit or restrict the extent to which these formulation techniques can be employed. • Bio-derived Renewable Raw Materials For the purpose of this report, bio-derived renewable materials are defined as any material originating from plants, animals or naturally derived sources (such as water) that can be replenished in the short term. Year end 2008 Sustainable FLEXO 13