Electron beam (ebeam) technology is a physical way to do chemistry. By applying energy from electrons to a polymerisable ink formulation, an ink can be turned from liquid to solid in milliseconds.
There are many advantages of using ebeam for the curing of inks, one of which is that it does not contain photoinitiators, an important aspect when considering that the safety of indirect food contact printing of food/beverage packaging is paramount; no photoinitiator means no photoinitiator migration into the food/beverage product that is packaged.
Electron beam also offers higher reactivity of the ink components, consistent dose output over time, and is also not “blinded” by pigments creating a consistent and high depth of cure, even with highly pigmented and thick coating weights – all important features when considering the safety of indirect food contact printing for packaging.
The energy consumption of curing with ebeam is lower compared to other methods of ink drying/curing thus creating a more sustainable process, and due to a low heat output, this technology can be utilised for printing on heat-sensitive substrates.
At ebeam Technologies, we see that not only is our technology suitable for printing on food packaging but has several advantages combined with digital printing. We see the increasing demand for customisation on food packaging (for brand building, seasonality, new product launches and many others) where short runs are required with a fast-time to market.
The ebeam Compact containing the unique ebeam Lamp is ideal for and easily integrated into narrow web presses for digital printing on food packaging such as flexible packaging, labels, shrink sleeves, yoghurt lids, pouches, cartons and also even for pharmaceutical packaging such as blister packs where ebeam-cured chemistries can adhere to aluminium without pre-treatment or primer.
Curious to try ebeam out for yourself? Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can access our technology and expertise and what it can do for you.
Mikala Baines, Applications Development Specialist, ebeam Technologies