New water-based adhesive provides extreme clarity without APEOs

A product’s functional performance is no longer enough to differentiate it in today’s crowded consumer goods markets–it has to look the part as well. 
Visual aesthetics play a large role in a product’s value, and studies have shown that consumers’ price sensitivity decreases when a product’s design is more unique or prestigious. 
One of the foremost methods of conveying quality and value of a product is through labelling. Consumers spend more time looking at labels which appear to be of a higher quality, leading to more purchases and strengthening brand loyalty
An invisible but important component of a label is the adhesive used to affix it to the packaging substrate. In addition to keeping the filmic labels secure, a high-quality adhesive should be as clear as possible and maintain its clarity when it comes in contact with water.

A water-based solution can achieve high performance, including extreme clarity, good adhesion and blush resistance, all without APEOs.

Augusto Cucala

Market Segment Manager for Adhesives at BASF North America

ACRONAL® 3727 X, a water-based pressure-sensitive adhesive, is the latest innovation in adhesion technologies for filmic labels. Suitable for both low- and high-surface energy surfaces, it provides benefits in extreme clarity, water resistance, reduction of VOCs though its life cycle and cost-in-use.

All about adhesion

In order to maintain the clarity of the filmic label, the adhesives used should provide blush resistance when exposed to water. It needs to be as clear as possible in order for the product’s design to show through.
High-value items like colognes, cosmetics or bottled water demand exceptional transparency from their labels so the branding or logo is visible, but not the film or label itself. This is known as a clear-on-clear label. Packaging for these types of products is often made of a low-surface-energy substrate such as PP and PE plastics, which poses a challenge for traditional adhesives.
“Transparency is very important in what we call ‘clear-on-clear’ applications,” says Augusto Cucala, Market Segment Manager for Adhesives at BASF North America. “The film and the adhesive both have to be very transparent to have a truly transparent label, and that's what we achieved with ACRONAL 3727 X.”
The adhesive on the label must stay clear after the label is in contact with water. Therefore, it must have high resistance to water whitening, as the environments where products are used or stored may have high levels of moisture. Water permeation can lead to water whitening in the adhesive and therefore the label, tarnishing the product’s image.
ACRONAL 3727 X excels in blush resistance and has high peel strength on low surface energy materials such as polypropylene and polyethylene, but at the same time early repositionability is still possible, even with good immediate tack.

High-performance, no VOCs

One of the issues with solvent-based adhesives is the high level of VOCs. The VOC content in water-based adhesives is significantly smaller, which reduces the amount of volatile organic compounds emitted to the atmosphere over the life of the adhesive. As an APEO-free adhesive, ACRONAL 3727 X meets the highest standards on health and safety for users and the environment.
Strict APEO restrictions in North America have yet to be implemented, but health and environmental concerns, combined with consumer awareness, have led to a growing demand for APEO-free adhesives.  
“The industry is trying to move away from solvents as much as possible,” says Cucala. “When you use a solvent-based adhesive, you have about 60 percent solvent content. Every pound used is going to evaporate around 0.6 pounds of VOCs into the air and atmosphere. There are no solvents in the water-based technology of ACRONAL 3727 X, so VOCs levels are drastically reduced.”
Flexibility is another benefit of ACRONAL 3727 X. The high-performance adhesive allows customers to use clear-on-clear labels for products made with low- and high-surface energy substrates, but it also can be used in filmic applications where full clarity may not be required – without switching to a different adhesive.  Additionally, Acronal 3737 X it has been designed for the state-of-the-art application methods used for roll label manufacturing.    

In the clear

When it comes to creating a good-looking label, the role of a filmic adhesive cannot be understated. In competitive markets where aesthetic is important, such as premium bottled beverages and makeup, a good label can make all the difference.
“This is a brand-new filmic adhesive innovation that we are introducing to the market,” says Cucala. “It demonstrates that a water-based solution can achieve high performance, including extreme clarity, good adhesion and blush resistance, all without APEOs.”
ACRONAL 3727 X is now available in North American markets. For more information or to speak with an expert, Click Here

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