Celplast Metallized Products / VAST Films’ new Metacoat™ allows coating, metallizing in a single pass, dramatically cuts costs, builds better barrier properties, protects surface from micro scratches.
Mark Spaulding — Converting Magazine
The Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL) presented its Technology of the Year Award toCelplast Metallized Products Ltd. / VAST Films Ltd., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for its Metacoat™ roll-coating technology on Sunday, March 21, 2010, at a banquet during its annual Management Meeting, March 21-24 at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California.
The patent-pending Metacoat technology allows coating and metallizing to occur in the same pass at standard metallizing speeds. A gravure coating station applies an acrylate and/or methacrylate liquid to the film surface and cures it immediately via electron beam exposure. Coating can occur before or after metallizing. Eliminating separate metallizing and coating passes dramatically improves economics. It also can increase a metallized film’s barrier properties because top-coating immediately after metallizing protects the metallized surface from micro scratches and defects caused by roller contact and downstream processing. Immediate applications include packaging, insulation, reflective displays and flexible electronics. In time, additional applications may include food packaging, metallized transfer film, hot-foil stamping film, solar collectors, photovoltaic cells, optical coatings and scratch-resistant coatings for decorative panels. Celplast currently produces 39-inch-wide coated/metallized material on a pilot line and is equipping a larger metallizer to produce 60-inch-wide coated/metallized material. It’s scheduled for startup in March 2010. Celplast also plans to license the technology to other converters.
The judges applauded the combination of metallizing and coating steps and the resulting improvement in barrier properties. “This material has the potential to be extremely widely used for any applications that require barrier,” noted one judge. “Compared to flash evaporation processes, the Metacoat technology broadens the number of acrylic chemistries that can be used in vacuum conditions and eliminates problems with acrylic vapor, which can infiltrate pumps and other components and cause a lot of downtime,” concluded another judge.
The five-member judging panel also named four finalists in the AIMCAL Technology of the Year competition. “This was the strongest field of entries we’ve seen in many years,” reports Steve Sedlak, chair of AIMCAL’s judging panel.