WMU News

Research consortium focuses on barrier-coated paper

March 2, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Paper science researchers at Western Michigan University's Center for Coating Development have organized a research and development consortium aimed at the barrier- coated paper and paperboard products industry and will launch the initiative with an April symposium at WMU.

Leading WMU's new Barrier-Coatings Research and Development Consortium are Dr. Margaret Joyce, WMU assistant professor of paper and printing science and a researcher with the Center for Coating Development, and Charles P. Klass, WMU adjunct professor and president of Klass Associates of Radnor, Pa.

According to Joyce, the market for recyclable, barrier-coated paper and paperboard is growing rapidly. Barrier coated products are paper-based products that need to be water or grease resistant and include many types of consumer food packaging. The new consortium is designed to bring together University and industry scientists interested in the development of such products.

Growth in the demand for barrier-coated products include: fundamental changes in the packaging industry; new packaging applications related to such changes in lifestyle as microwave use and consumption of pre-prepared meals; the increased need for recovery of old cardboard cartons, necessitating the replacement of wax and extrusion coatings; and the demand for better quality graphics.

The consortium's first undertaking will be a barrier-coatings symposium at WMU on Thursday, April 5. The symposium, which is open to all interested parties, will offer a full program that will provide papermakers and suppliers with a basic understanding of the barrier-coating markets, the technologies driving the market to change, the issues currently faced, and new technologies being developed to address these issues. Topics covered in the symposium will include:

Current Barrier-Coating Market Overview and Trends;

Choosing the Coating for Optimum Barrier Properties: Understanding the Current Technologies and Technological Needs;

Developments in Grease Proof Papers: Fluorocarbons and Non-Fluorocarbon Alternatives and Their Limitations;

Recyclable Roll Wrapper: Substrate Characteristics, Current Chemistries, and Repulpability Issues;

Current Technologies and Recycling Issues Faced by the Water-Resistant, Barrier-Coating Industries; and

Silicone Release Papers: Requirements and Technological Needs.

Session leaders for the event will include executives and scientists from International Paper, FortiFiber Corp. and Reichhold Chemicals as well as researchers from WMU and North Carolina State University.

Those attending the symposium are also welcome to join a consortium open forum the following day, Friday, April 6. That event is for those interested in learning more about or joining the WMU Barrier-Coatings Research and Development Consortium.

For more information about the consortium or the symposium, contact WMU's Department of Paper and Printing Science and Engineering at (616) 387-2755 or visit the consortium Web site at <www.wmich.edu/ppse/Barrierconsorium.html>. Online registration for the symposium is available at that site.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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