Thimm Group will now coat paper rolls with the latest generation of thermoplastic elastomer dispersions (TPE). These special papers create a reliable foundation for barrier coatings for all corrugated board and solidboard manufacturers. As regards recycling, coated paper is one of the most sustainable solutions currently on the market and Thimm is now manufacturing it with an operating width of up to 2.5m. This paper can be used in the food industry and for all industrial goods.
Demand for alternatives to plastic packaging continues to rise and paper-based monomaterials are the sustainable solution for this. Michael Weber, Head of Corporate Strategy + Marketing, Thimm, explains, “There are already good opportunities in the market for replacing plastic packaging, for example through the use of composite materials and composite packaging. At first glance, these appear to be more sustainable, but they make recycling extremely difficult. However, paper-based monomaterials themselves are not the best solution per se; paper finishes with waxes, plastics or silicones can, at least in large quantities, have a negative impact on the waste paper cycle. However, such barrier solutions are necessary in order to effectively protect goods from water, steam, oils and fats.”
In the Northeim print works in Germany, fresh fibre paper rolls are now being coated with the latest generation of thermoplastic elastomer dispersions under the new ‘ComBa’ (coated modular barrier) brand. The sustainable coating is water-based, emulsifier and solvent-free and it reliably protects against liquids and fats. Weber explains, “Our ComBa Liner is one of the cleanest solutions for barrier-coated papers, as the wastepaper easily decomposes during the recycling process.”
The new special paper is suitable for use in all industrial sectors, including the food industry. The dispersions meet all requirements for direct food contact and are FDA/EU approved. In the fat density kit-test, the paper achieved a very high rating (KIT 10-12). The water-based TPE coating is also heat-resistant. This means that it is easy to undertake any processing required to create the packaging for food products, car parts and other industry goods – including also for overseas transportation. Thimm is currently testing further application areas.
The company says that another advantage of ComBa Liner is the extended operating width. In the past, special papers were often only available in narrow operating widths which are inefficient for the packaging sector. At 2.5m, ComBa Liner is ideal for use in packaging production.
Weber concludes, “As a non-integrated company, we can often respond quickly to delivery times because we hold fresh fibre paper in stock. This not only benefits corrugated board and solidboard manufacturers who purchase our coated paper rolls, but also all our industrial customers who purchase packaging solutions from us. This means that our customers incur almost no storage costs thanks to our just-in-time delivery. We are pleased that through our innovation we are once again able to respond to the ever-increasing demand for low plastic usage and make another important contribution to sustainability.”