3/25/2010, Düsseldorf

 

In the Liofol Technical Center at Henkel

 
 
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Research and simulation at the customer’s service

Henkel’s Liofol brand is backed by more than 80 years of adhesives know-how. Since its inauguration in 2002, the Technical Center in Düsseldorf has been a pivotal facility for intensive research and development. The Liofol team performs thousands of laminating trials every year, both for its customers and for its own purposes, including testing of novel laminating adhesives on its modern machines and equipment.

On an original production line, the Düsseldorf specialists investigate different aspects, such as the behavior of solvent-based and solvent-free adhesives with different film/foil combinations. A web of film or foil, usually pre-printed, is bonded full-surface to another web on appropriately set-up systems and the resulting laminate is wound onto a core. With the laminating equipment at the Henkel site, adhesives can be tested under near-real production conditions. This benefits customers, who can run their trials here without having to interrupt their own production operations. And the Liofol team itself can run its own comparative tests on the laminating line, as well as offering hands-on training courses directly at the machine.

Preserving freshness
The film/foil laminates have to withstand many different kinds of stresses, especially when they are used for flexible food packages. They are expected to protect the contents from external influences such as heat or cold and to keep the food fresh for a longer period. Depending on the type of food, the laminates for flexible packages usually consist of two or three layers, rarely more. Conventional packages for potato chips, for example, are composed of a printed plastic film which is laminated to a further metallized film. The metallized surface protects the contents from UV light and other influences. Flexible packages for coffee normally have three layers: a printed polyester film bonded to an aluminum foil layer and a polyethylene film. This combination of layers provides such good barrier properties that the coffee loses none of its aroma.

Application areas for Liofol adhesives
From food to pharmaceuticals to textiles, the range of applications for Liofol adhesives is wide and varied. Without laminating techniques it would not be possible to make flexible, lightweight packages. Companies all over the world rely on Henkel adhesives to help them laminate their printed materials economically. Liofol adhesives also meet the very special requirements of high-quality textiles. Henkel’s product portfolio offers solutions for a broad range of applications: laminating adhesives, heat-seal and cold-seal varnishes, primers, one- and two-component systems – solvent-based, solvent-free, water-borne, reactive and non-reactive.

Tests with hotmelts
In addition to laminating adhesives, hotmelts are also tested in the Technical Center. The line used for this is extremely versatile. Depending on the product, different nozzles are selected to apply the adhesive in dots or in a flat stream. This makes it possible to test the bonding of labels and tapes, and even hygiene articles such as diapers.