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Methods for improving the properties of an existing film

No material is perfect. However, by combining assembly, surface treatment and coating techniques, it is possible to combine the properties of several materials by forming multilayers. Thanks to these three families of processes there are almost no limits to the creation of custom-made materials.

 

Multilayer assembly

 

Assembling several films or adhesives to form a multilayer makes it possible to combine the properties of different materials in a single film.

 

Dry lamination

dry-lamination

 

Also called glue lamination, this technique consists of assembling two strips of flexible films using a solvent-based glue by exerting high pressure.

 

Complex bonding

complex bonding

 

Two or more flexible or rigid strips are assembled with a technical adhesive. Complex bonding is often used to increase barrier properties and improve appearance.

 

Cold lamination

cold lamination

 

Dry lamination method used to make a surface adhesive.

 

Surface treatments

 

Whether they are single or multilayer, films can undergo a surface treatment aimed at improving certain properties or facilitating the assembly of a new layer.

 

Corona treatment

 

Method used to create an electrical discharge on a film’s surface. This surface preparation method increases surface energy and consolidates the chemical bonds of a film/liquid assembly.

 

Plasma activation

plasma-activation

 

Method for treating the extreme surface (a few nanometers) of a flexible polymer or metallic substrate. This technology is used to provide anti-adhesion properties or, on the contrary, to improve adhesion.

 

Thermostabilization

 

Technique used to reduce film sensitivity to temperature variations.

 

For example, Politherm® PET film is practically insensitive to dimensional variations associated with temperature.

 

Coatings

 

Coatings are applications of material aimed at improving the properties of films. They include metalization, applications of glue, protective coatings (anti UV, anti-graffiti, anti-scratch) or just about any other material.

 

Metalization

 

Film metalization is generally carried out by vacuum evaporation processes. It is used to obtain films with a thickness of a few tens of nanometers.

 

For example, depending on its thickness, an aluminum application makes a film more or less opaque.

 

Roll to roll coating

 

This kind of coating is the application of a liquid coating such as glue, paint or lacquer on a medium. A drying or cross-linking phase is generally necessary after coating.

 

Extrusion coatings

 

Technique used to achieve good control over the thickness of a film. Resin granules are melted and a layer is deposited and then solidified on the film to be coated.

 

For example, a polyethylene coating of 15 to 150 microns on polyester.

 

Conclusion

 

The range of improvements that can be made to materials to form a unique combination is vast. Polymers, kraft paper, metallic or adhesive films are all materials that can be combined to meet custom specifications.