hubergroup Print Solutions is launching a barrier coating, HYDRO-X GA, that protects against water removing any need for PE film lamination as a water barrier.

The coating works by using a revised formulation of the binding agents for the water-based coating and is suitable for surface printing in the packaging industry, both in the food and non-food sectors.

Paper packaging with a barrier coating can be recycled in the already well-established paper recycling system. Changing from conventional packaging to pure paper packaging with a barrier coating is a cost-effective and more environmentally friendly option.

Christian Schirrmacher, hubergroup Print Solutions’ global project manager, Water-based Inks said, ‘We are constantly working to further develop our portfolio. In particular, we focus on the benefits for our customers and the sustainability aspect. With the HYDRO-X GA Water Barrier Coating, as a team, we have achieved another milestone. The aim is to enable our customers to produce more environmentally friendly packaging solutions.’

By using the HYDRO-X GA Water Barrier Coating, it is possible to change from laminate structures to mono-material paper. For this step, only one more available inking unit is needed in order to apply the coating.

The coating provides a highly water-repellent surface, thereby increasing the shelf life of the product. The barrier coating is particularly suitable for use in the packaging industry, specifically for packaging moisture-sensitive foodstuffs such as sugar, flour and dry animal food. This protective coating prevents unnecessary food waste. It is also suitable for applications in the non-food sector, for example, cement packaging and secondary packaging for copy paper. The HYDRO-X GA Water Barrier Coating is suitable for both coated and uncoated paper.

Following successful results from laboratory tests, in spring 2020 hubergroup also began testing the coating in a real-world environment together with a customer. This involved print testing on different machines. Dr Schirrmacher explained, ‘The results were so impressive that we immediately received an order from our customer. They were particularly impressed by the elimination of a step in the production process.’

With the launch of the HYDRO-X GA Water Barrier Coating, the printing ink manufacturer is expanding their water-based portfolio. In doing so, hubergroup continues to pursue their integrated approach to sustainability. Lutz Frischmann, global product director flexible packaging, added, ‘At present we are working intensively to develop and manufacture additional protective coatings, such as an oxygen barrier coating. Due to the sustainability aspect, we see big potential in these product groups.’