In a press release datelined December 15, 2008 from Schaumburg, Illinois, INX International Ink Co. announced the availability throughout North America of Belle Color rotogravure laminating inks for the flexible packaging market. Belle Color technology, already widely used in parts of Asia and the Pacific Rim, has been brought to North America using performance-proving processes employed earlier by INX when introducing its industry-leading Lamiall laminating inks to this marketplace.
Belle Color provides several major ink system advances for retort pouches and boil-in-bag, as well as snack food packaging applications, said Mark Hill, Assistant Director of INX Research and Development and Vice President, Liquid Technology. INX global parent, Sakata INX developed a new, proprietary resin system that does not require MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone) or toluene. The result is a MEK/toluene free ink that prints as well as traditional MEK/toluene formulations. Belle Color is meant to provide high performance in the retort and high-performance lamination market. INX claims that Belle Color is the most universal ink on the market today.
Single-component high-performance retort system
Exceptional adhesion to high-barrier substrates
Hill said unlike many laminating inks which require cross linking for certain boil-in-bag or retort applications (up to 275º F), Belle Color has been shown to deliver high-level performance without the need for special additives or cross linkers. Its adhesion to treated films is exceptional, including newer high barrier options such as AlOx- and SiOx-coated polyester, as well as popular general purpose films such as polyolefins, polyester, cellophane, nylon and saran-coated films. Belle Color still has the option to be cross-linked for even higher performance applications if needed.
Belle Color’s lamination bond strength is said to be excellent, as well as its block resistance for off-line lamination. It works well with solvent or water-based dry bond adhesives, or solvent-less adhesive systems.
Excellent printability with less hazing
“Printers handling a wide range of snack packaging applications will find Belle Color to be a superior general purpose process ink,” said Lou DeFlaviis, Vice President of Packaging Business Development for the Liquid Ink Division at INX. “It prints clean, with excellent multiple-substrate quality and consistency, and resolves doctor blade performance and related issues that are common with other inks. The Belle Color single-component system provides not only major advances in laminating ink performance, but is a universal answer to the issue of handling multiple substrates and maintaining consistent quality faced by gravure printers today.”
Belle Color helps simplify day-to-day print runs, while streamlining ink inventory, management and costs. These inks offer excellent heat resistance, and have very low solvent retention. Lightfast colorants also are available.