The graphic film and label market represent more than 50% of the 55 billion square meter silicone release coating consumption. As demand continues to grow, key market players have invested in high-speed coating technologies with extreme coating speeds of >1000 m/min, which now represents a significant portion of the labels industry. One of the greatest technical challenges associated with high-speed coating processes is suppressing mist generation, an aerosol produced under high-speed separation of the liquid coating at the nip of the coater rolls. Most silicone release coating formulations contain antimist additives (AMA) that generate unacceptable mist levels at line speeds >500 m/min, leading to serious EHS concerns, material loss, more frequent coater cleaning, and poor siliconized substrate quality control caused by silicone mist redeposition.
With cutting-edge imaging technology and sound material science principles, we conceptualized the fundamentals of mist formation during high speed release coating application and were able to draw relationships between the visco-elastic and other key rheological properties of the silicone fluid and its antimist behavior. Based on this understanding, a global cross-functional team successfully developed and scaled-up a novel IP-protected AMA and the corresponding SYL-OFF™ SL-184 coating formulation, meeting the stringent criteria of 50% lower than the current best commercial alternative, and 28x lower than the industrial mist level threshold of 5.0 mg/m3. These benefits set new benchmarks in the release coating market, leading to premium applications performance.