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© 2006 by Taylor & Erancis Group, LLC
AcryIIc ¡oIymers
46.1 Intioduction ......................................................................46-1
46.2 Chemistiy and Manufactuie ............................................46-1
46.3 Veisatility of Aciylics ........................................................46-2
46.5 Coating Techniques...........................................................46-8
46.1 Intruductiun
Since theii intioduction decades ago, aciylic polymeis have gained a stiong foothold in the coatings and
allied industiies as a iesult of theii impioved ßexibility and adhesion compaied to polyvinyl acetate
emulsions, phenolics, and styiene-butadiene latex combined with theii modeiate cost. In addition, theii
signifcantly impioved outdooi duiability, including iesistance to ultiaviolet degiadation, has mandated
theii use in seveial applications. In many iespects, the name °aciylic" has become synonymous with a
high peifoimance level in a polymei system.
Piesently, aciylics aie available in thiee physical foims: solid beads, solution polymeis, and emulsions.
The emulsion foim is by fai the dominant foim in use today. This is due geneially to the ease of tailoiing
piopeities, and the lowei hazaids and manufactuiing costs compaied to the solid and solution polymeis.
46.2 Chemistry and Manulacture
46.2.1 Munumers
Aciylic monomeis aie esteis of aciylic and methaciylic acid. Some common esteis aie methyl, ethyl,
isobutyl, n-butyl, 2-ethylhexyl, octyl, lauiyl, and steaiyl. The esteis can contain functional gioups such
as hydioxyl gioups (e.g., hydioxyethyl methaciylate), amino gioups (e.g., dimethylaminoethyl methaciy-
late), amide gioups (aciylamide), and so on, in addition to the caiboxylic acid functionality of the
unesteiifed monomei. Aciylic monomeis can be multifunctional (e.g., tiimethylolpiopane tiiaciylate,
oi butylenes glycol diaciylate, to mention two). The polymei chemist has a wide iange of monomeis to
select fiom when designing a specialty polymei system.
Typically, mixtuies of comonomeis aie chosen foi the piopeities they impait to the polymei. Adhesive
stiength, foi example, is incieased by using monomeis with low glass tiansition tempeiatuies such as butyl
aciylate oi 2-ethyl hexylaciylate. Membeis of the caiboxylic acid gioup of aciylic and methaciylic acids
also tend to inciease the adhesive piopeities of polymeis. Cohesive stiength is usually impaited by the
haidei aciylic monomeis such as methyl methaciylate and methyl aciylate. Moleculai weight is also a
signifcant contiibuting factoi, and these two paiameteis must be caiefully balanced by the polymei chemist.
RonaId A. LomlardI
ICI Fe·ín· IS
}ames I. Casper
ICI Fe·ín· IS
© 2006 by Taylor & Erancis Group, LLC
Monomeis · Polymeiization Methods
Coatings · Adhesives · Inks
Glass Tiansition Tempeiatuie · Emulsion Aciylics
Giavuie Coateis · Flexogiaphic Coateis · Wiie-Wound Rod
Application Aieas ..............................................................46-4
Coateis · Knife ovei Roll Coateis · Reveise Roll Coateis
46-2 Cooríng· Tec|no|ogy Hondboo|, T|írd ídíríon
When functional gioups aie needed foi postieaction, monomeis such as hydioxyethyl methaciylate
oi N-methylolaciylamide aie incoipoiated. Hydioxyl gioups can be used in combination with melamine
and epoxy cuiing agents to achieve cioss-linking. Similaily, othei functional gioups (acid gioups, amines,
amides, etc.) can be incoipoiated.
46.2.2 Pu!ymerizatiun Methuds Bu!k Pu!ymerizatiun
As the name implies, bulk polymeiization is accomplished by initiating aciylic monomeis in the absence
of solvents othei than the monomeis. Typically, peioxide oi azo initiatois aie used. The majoi pioblem,
of couise, is the viscosity inciease iealized aftei appioximately 30% conveision. Geneially, heavy-duty
mixeis and tempeiatuies exceeding 150C aie used to contiol viscosity. The well-known Tiomsdoif gel
effect is often obseived at high conveision, leading to iapid exotheims, high moleculai weight fiactions,
and incieased polydispeisity. Piocesses foi the bulk polymeiization of aciylic copolymeis aie desciibed
in the patent liteiatuie.
1-3 Su!utiun Pu!ymerizatiun
Adding a solvent to a bulk polymeiization iecipe allows much easiei contiol of viscosity at high convei-
sions. Again, peioxide (e.g., benzoyl peioxide, lauiyl peioxide) oi azo (azobisisobutyionitiile) initiatois
aie used. Meicaptans and halogenated hydiocaibons aie used to iegulate moleculai weight. Most solvents
also act as chain tiansfei agents to some extent. Geneially, aciylic polymeis piepaied by solution poly-
meiization aie less than 100,000 moleculai weight units. Suspensiun Pu!ymerizatiun
The piocess of suspension polymeiization, as the name implies, involves the use of a dispeising agent to
stabilize monomei dioplets in a continuous phase, usually watei. With continued agitation, the suspended
dioplets aie polymeiized using oil-soluble initiatois, again, peioxides and azo compounds. In fact, the
polymeiizing dioplets exhibit bulk polymeiization kinetics, as each dioplet is actually a small bulk ieactoi
with the continuous aqueous phase acting as a heat sink. Typical suspending agents include polyvinyl
alcohol, polyaciylic acid, and hydioxyethylcellulose. As might be expected, suspension polymeiization is
usually limited to monomei compositions with glass tiansition tempeiatuie T
that is neai to oi gieatei
than ambient tempeiatuie; otheiwise, gelation oi blocking easily iesults in the diy bead. Following
polymeiization, the suspension polymei paiticles, oi beads, aie dewateied, washed to iemove impuiities
such as suspending agents and electiolytes, and diied. Emu!siun Pu!ymerizatiun
Peihaps the most complex of the polymeiization piocesses, emulsion polymeiization has been well
studied and desciibed. As the name implies, the aciylic monomeis aie emulsifed using a suifactant and
aie suspended in a continuous phase, watei. Watei-soluble initiatois aie used to initiate polymeiization.
Some common examples aie ammonium oi potassium peisulfate, hydiogen peioxide, and iedox paiis
such as t-butyl hydiopeioxide-sodium foimaldehyde sulfoxylate.
Polymeiization is geneially thought to initiate in the watei phase. A giowing iadical piecipitates to a
micelle containing monomeis and continues to polymeiize. The giowing micelle is iesupplied with fiesh
monomei by diffusion fiom monomei dioplets. Foi a thoiough discussion of the emulsion polymeiiza-
46.3 Yersati!ity ul Acry!ics
46.3.1 G!ass Transitiun Temperature
By selecting piopei monomeis, the glass tiansition tempeiatuie of the polymei and, theiefoie, the likely
application aiea, can be vaiied. The glass tiansition tempeiatuie of a polymei is the simple aveiage
© 2006 by Taylor & Erancis Group, LLC
tion piocess, see Refeience 4.
Acry|íc Po|ymer· 46-3
value in degiees Celsius iepiesenting a iange of tempeiatuies thiough which the polymei changes fiom
a haid and often biittle mateiial into one with soft, iubbeilike piopeities. Although these aveiage T
values sometimes vaiy with the test method used, they aie iepioducible within ceitain limits and
iepiesent specifc polymei chaiacteiistics. The glass tiansition tempeiatuie is useful as a guideline foi
softness of hand, low tempeiatuie ßexibility, and ioom tempeiatuie haidness and softening point. The
glass tiansition tempeiatuie should be used to compaie haidness and softness of latex only within a
simple polymei gioup.
Table 46.1 illustiates the wide iange in T
iesulting fiom diffeient monomei compositions.
46.3.2 Emu!siun Acry!ics
Emulsions have become the dominant technology in aciylic polymeis, and we theiefoie focus much of
oui discussion on this categoiy. Table 46.2
coiielates T
ianges of emulsion aciylics with specifc
application aieas. Theie is obviously oveilap to be expected among the ianges. By vaiying the monomei
compositions, we have a cleai indication of the veisatility of aciylics.
The wide iange foi adhesives encompasses piessuie-sensitive polymeis and heat-activating polymeis,
which diy to a tack-fiee state. Physica! Pruperties
On a physical basis, emulsions can be chaiacteiized in the following fundamental aieas: solids content,
viscosity, pH, paiticle size, minimum flm foiming tempeiatuie (MFT), and paiticle chaige.
Solids content is deteimined by diying latex to constant weight, viscosity is deteimined by use of the
Biookfeld Viscometei, and pH is deteimined by pH metei. Paiticle size usually ianges fiom about 0.05
to 0.5 m, depending on the type and amount of suifactant employed; measuiement is usually made by
lasei light-scatteiing technique, election micioscopy, oi ultiacentiifuge.
Paiticle chaige is discussed in the paiagiaphs that follow.
As mentioned pieviously, suifactants stabilize liquid monomei dioplets foimed by agitation. Poly-
meiization takes place in monomei micelles to foim the solid dispeised paiticles of polymei in watei.
Suifactants aie classifed into thiee types: anionic, nonionic, and cationic.
TABLE 46.1 Glass Tiansition Tempeiatuie
Homopolymei T
( C)
Aciylic acid 112
Methyl methaciylate 106
Methyl aciylate 8
Isopiopyl aciylate -8
Ethyl aciylate -24
N-Butyl aciylate -56
2-Ethyl hexylaciylate -65
Scurce: Fiom Rohm and Haas Company,
Bulletin SP197, Special Pioducts Depaitment.
TABLE 46.2 Glass Tiansition Tempeiatuie
veisus Application Aiea
( C) Suggested Application Aiea
80-100 High heat-iesistant coatings
50-65 Flooi caie coatings
35-50 Geneial industiial coatings
10-40 Decoiative paints
25-35 Bindeis foi inks
-60-25 Adhesives
© 2006 by Taylor & Erancis Group, LLC
46-4 Cooríng· Tec|no|ogy Hondboo|, T|írd ídíríon
The most common type, anionics, ionize in watei to leave a negative chaige on the latex paiticle.
Nonionics do not ionize but stabilize by a combination of hydiophobic and hydiophilic iegions on the
molecule. Cationics, which aie not commonly used, ionize to give the paiticle a positive chaige.
Suifactants help to impiove mechanical and chemical stability of the emulsions but also tend to inciease
the watei sensitivity of the diied flm. Minimum Fi!m Furming Temperature
Unlike solution polymeis, which have one homogeneous phase, emulsions aie polymei paiticles dispeised
in watei, the continuous phase. Upon diying, the paiticles must combine oi coalesce to foim a continuous
flm. If the piocess is caiiied out at ioom tempeiatuie (25C) with a polymei with a T
value above 25C,
flm foimation will not occui. In this case, the polymei must be heated to above its T
oi a coalescing
agent must be added to the latex to soften oi plasticize the paiticles so that they will combine to foim a
continuous flm. Coalescents often used aie high boiling liquids that have a solvating effect on the polymei
but latei evapoiate so that the full physical piopeities of the polymei alone aie achieved. Geneiically,
many of these coalescents aie classifed as glycol etheis. Theii ielative toxicology has iecently been studied.
46.4 App!icatiun Areas
46.4.1 Cuatings
The use of aciylic polymeis foi both emulsion and solution coatings is veiy diveise. Befoie discussing
the aieas in which aciylics might be used in coatings, let us fist identify the fundamental ieason foi
consideiing the use of a coating, namely, to piotect the substiate being coated fiom the enviionment.
Theie aie additional ieasons, depending on the end-use aiea.
Once the need foi a coating has been decided, a fuithei iequiiement is appaient; namely, the coating
must adheie to the suiface that has been coated because to decoiate oi piotect any suiface, the coating
must iemain in position. This phenomenon is known as adhesion. The ieadei is diiected to an excellent
ieview of the methods to deteimine satisfactoiy adhesion of a coating.
An additional point to considei
is the aii diy natuie of piopeily foimulated wateiboine aciylics. Theii full piopeities aie developed not
thiough extensive heat cuie cycles but by ioom tempeiatuie diying thiough the use of coalescing agents,
as discussed eailiei. Wheie heat is available, incieased solvent and heat iesistance can be attained by the
addition of cioss-linking agents.
Each end-use pioduct iequiies ceitain specifc piopeity chaiacteiistics to achieve the featuie needed
foi the application; the type of substiate to be coated, as well as the mannei in which the pait is used,
deteimine the piopeity iequiiements. It is cleai that plastics do not iequiie a coiiosion-iesistant coating;
theiefoie, a coating designed foi plastics has piopeity iequiiements diffeient fiom a coating designed
foi metals. At the same time, adhesion of the coating, which is impoitant foi any substiate, becomes a
key chaiacteiistic.
Howevei, achieving adhesion to any specifc substiate may iequiie a totally diffeient pioduct iequiie-
ment. Mateiials that adheie to metal may fail to bond to plastic. Theiefoie, coatings foi metals may have
to diffei signifcantly fiom coatings foi plastics oi wood to achieve the desiied peifoimance. Each substiate
aiea, theiefoie, iequiies the design of a specifc coating to meet its individual end-use iequiiement foi
the intended application.
Retuining to application of aciylics in coatings, we will centei oui discussion on fve majoi aieas:
· Automotive
· Geneial metal
· Maintenance
· Wood
· Business machines
© 2006 by Taylor & Erancis Group, LLC
Acry|íc Po|ymer· 46-5 Autumutive
With the incieased use of plastics in automotive applications has come a suige in the use of coatings.
Plastics aie coated to impiove iesistance to chemicals, solvents, ultiaviolet light, and abiasion, as well as
exteiioi duiability.
Othei applications foi coatings include the engine enamels aiea, undeibodies, and
auto iefnishing woik. Peifoimance piopeities iequiied include giease iesistance, duiability, and adhesion
to oily metals. Cuatings lur Meta!
Coatings aie needed foi metal casings and tiansfoimeis. The iequiiements foi such coatings include
chemical iesistance, haidness, and coiiosion and humidity iesistance. Because steel is still commonly
used, the ability to piotect this metal fiom coiiosion iemains an impoitant iequiiement.
12 Maintenance Cuatings
Coatings aie iequiied foi biidges and stoiage tanks, wheie again, piopeities of coiiosion and humidity
iesistance aie iequiied. Wuud Cuatings
Coatings foi boaids destined to be used in fuinituie and kitchen cabinets iequiie blocking and deteigent
iesistance, sandability, and iesistance to giain iaising. Business Machines
Coatings foi calculatois, typewiiteis, copy machines, and analytical instiumentation aie common exam-
ples in the business machine categoiy. Peifoimance iequiied includes chemical and solvent iesistance and
adhesion to plastics ¦e.g., polycaibonate, polyphenylene oxide, aciylonitiile-butadiene-styiene (ABS)].
46.4.2 Adhesives
Both solvent and emulsion aciylic adhesives aie extensively used in the industiy, but befoie discussing
adhesives, we need to addiess the fundamental diffeience between a coating and an adhesive. A coating
must adheie to only one substiate; an adhesive must adheie to one substiate and then to a second
substiate. A coating, once applied, is exposed to the elements and must withstand abiasion, maiiing,
solvents, watei, and heat. It may iequiie high gloss and othei special piopeities, as well.
An adhesive is piotected to a ceitain degiee by being sandwiched between two substiates. It, theiefoie,
does not have to have some of the peifoimance piopeities that must be built into a coating. It must
ideally have a bond stiength high enough to fiactuie oi teai at least one of the substiates. In many cases,
the bond stiength should not be mateiially affected by heat, solvents, oi watei. Theiefoie, an adhesive
must not only have good anchoiage to both substiates (adhesive stiength), it must also have high enough
cohesive stiength to fiactuie oi teai one of the substiates upon delamination. Thus, an adhesive must
balance adhesive stiength with cohesive stiength.
Anothei basic diffeience between emulsions (coatings and adhesives) is in theii flm foimation piop-
eities. To have haid, tack-fiee, and heat-iesistant coatings, the glass tiansition tempeiatuie of the polymei
is intentionally designed to be highei than ioom tempeiatuie. The coating then iequiies a coalescing
agent to foim a cleai continuous flm. Adhesives foim flms at ioom tempeiatuie without the need foi
coalescing aids. A soft ßexible polymei flm is desiied foi an adhesive, and this flm should be theimo-
plastic (i.e., able to soften and ßow iepeatedly upon the application of heat). The flm can subsequently
be cioss-linked thiough functional gioups if heat and solvent iesistance aie desiied.
Aciylic-based adhesives aie noimally employed wheie impioved specifc adhesion and/oi iesistance
to yellowing fiom exposuie to ultiaviolet iays is iequiied. Aciylics aie used in thiee main aieas: heat-
sealable adhesives, laminating adhesives, and piessuie-sensitive adhesives. These aie discussed sepaiately.
© 2006 by Taylor & Erancis Group, LLC
46-6 Cooríng· Tec|no|ogy Hondboo|, T|írd ídíríon Heat-Sea!ab!e Adhesives
Heat sealing is used foi bonding two substiates wheie one oi both aie impeivious to watei. Typically,
the moie heat- and solvent-iesistant substiate is coated fist, and the solvent oi watei is diiven off in an
oven. At this point, the web can be wound up on itself (if the diied adhesive is tack fiee oi nonblocking)
and heat sealed to the secondaiy substiate at a latei date. Alteinatively, the adhesive-coated substiate can
be laminated simultaneously to the second substiate to foim the fnished pioduct. The lattei case is the
laminating adhesive technique, discussed latei. When heat is applied to activate oi soften the adhesive,
two conditions must be met foi adequate bonding:
1. The adhesive must have suffcient ßow at the activation tempeiatuie to piopeily wet out the
secondaiy substiate.
2. The adhesive must have a chemical affnity oi specifc adhesion to the paiticulai substiate. This
compiises the secondaiy chemical bonding foices, which give iise to what we call adhesive bonding.
Many applications involving food packaging fall into this categoiy. Examples include lidding-type
adhesives foi coffee cieameis and jams and the blistei packaging of phaimaceuticals. Laminating Adhesives
Laminating adhesives function much the same as heat-seal adhesives except that the tempeiatuie neces-
saiy to activate the adhesive is much lowei. Wheie heat-seal adhesives may iequiie an activation tem-
peiatuie of 120C (250F), laminating adhesives can be designed to function anywheie between ioom
tempeiatuie and 90C (200F). Recently, new low tempeiatuie cuiing types of adhesive have, to some
degiee, ieplaced two-component solvent-polyuiethane adhesives in the ßexible packaging aiea.
ing a ioom tempeiatuie cuiing mechanism into an aciylate system fuithei enhances oppoitunities to
ieplace solvent systems.
Consideiable piogiess has also been made using low tempeiatuie cuiing aciylics
in the industiial aiea.
Typical applications include vinyl-to-wood laminating and bonding vinyl to ABS foi automotive
inteiiois. Pressure-Sensitive Adhesives
The piessuie-sensitive method of bonding is often called the °one-way" bonding method. The adhesive
is coated onto the substiate eithei diiectly oi by tiansfei coating. The adhesive is piotected by a ielease
linei until it is ieady to be used. When application is desiied, the linei is iemoved and the adhesive-
coated substiate is bonded to the othei substiate using piessuie alone. Piessuie actually activates the
adhesive, hence the name of this method. Upon fim piessuie, the tacky adhesive mass actually ßows
and bonds itself both mechanically and chemically to the othei suiface.
Howevei, to be functional, a piessuie-sensitive adhesive must be moie than just veiy tacky. Flypapei
has a veiy high degiee of tack but lacks inteinal stiength oi cohesiveness. A functional piessuie-sensitive
mateiial will have high tack oi adhesive stiength combined with high cohesive stiength, the basis iequiie-
ment foi any adhesive.
Piessuie-sensitive adhesives aie used in many tape aieas such as packaging, masking, electiical mend-
ing, medical, and mounting. The giaphic aits aiea includes vinyl decals and special decoiative flms such
as cleai and metallized polyestei flms. These aieas geneially iequiie an outstanding balance of piopeities
that must be ietained undei seveie outdooi exposuie and tempeiatuie extiemes. Such piopeities as
outstanding iesistance to ultiaviolet light degiadation and plasticizei migiation aie iequiied. Adhesives
foi this aiea must pioduce cleai and coloiless flms, dictating the use of aciylics exclusively.
Solvent-based polystyiene aciylics (PSAs) have been tiaditionally used in these aieas. Moie iecently,
they have been ieplaced in vaiying degiees with theii emulsion counteipaits.
Howevei, theie still exist
technical aieas in which the solvent systems pievail.
These include applications iequiiing high levels of
heat, watei, and solvent iesistance.
© 2006 by Taylor & Erancis Group, LLC
Acry|íc Po|ymer· 46-7
46.4.3 Inks
The use of aciylic polymeis to foimulate wateiboine inks has giown steadily in the past 10 yeais. The
majoi cause foi this giowth has been goveinment iegulations imposing limits on solvent emissions by
piinteis. The same ieason, of couise, sponsoied the giowth of wateiboine coatings and adhesives. The
choices left to the piinteis aie as follows:
· Install solvent iecoveiy-incineiation systems.
· Develop compliant high solids solvent inks.
· Develop adequately peifoiming wateiboine inks.
Because many piinting companies have selected the thiid option, oui discussion will focus on it.
In addition to the pigment, wateiboine aciylic inks aie usually composed of two types of aciylic
polymei, an emulsion-polymeiized aciylic and an alkali-soluble solid aciylic type of iesin. The emulsion
aciylic contiibutes to fnished ink piopeities such as flm foimation, adhesion to plastic flms, and scuff,
heat, and alkali iesistance. Howevei, emulsion polymeis aie veiy pooi pigment wetteis. In addition, they
have pooi ßow chaiacteiistics compaied to theii solvent-boine counteipaits. The alkali-soluble iesins
aie good pigment wetteis, display good iheology, and pievent diying of the ink in the cylindeis when
the line is stopped duiing piinting iuns.
Many diffeient types of alkali-soluble iesin can be used in
combination with the emulsion aciylics.
Table 46.3 compaies the piopeities of aciylic polymeis to foui othei geneiic classes: maleic iosinates,
shellac, piotein, and styienated maleic copolymeis.
By combining the best piopeities of emulsion-polymeiized and alkali-soluble aciylics, ieasonably
peifoiming wateiboine inks aie giadually ieplacing the tiaditional solvent types. These wateiboine inks
aie being used in such diveise applications as stamps, cigaiette caitons, beei cans, milk caitons, food
packaging, wallpapei, gioceiy bags, newspapeis, and coiiugated boxes.
Despite these successes, theie still exist diawbacks and technical pioblems with the wateiboine inks.
Among these aie the following:
· Drying prcblems. To maintain solvent line speeds, moie effcient diying ovens aie iequiied.
· Fcaming. Use of suitable antifoam agents has consideiably minimized this pioblem.
· Freeze-thaw stability. Depending on foimulation, the piintei must also considei stoiage conditions
duiing wintei months.
· Resclubility. Sometimes iefeiied to as diying out on the piess, this iequiies a caieful balance
between the alkali-soluble iesin and the emulsion polymei.
TABLE 46.3 Piopeity Compaiison of Alkali-Soluble Acidic Resins
Rosinates Shellac Piotein
Styienated Maleic
Dispeisibility Faii-good Faii Faii Faii Good
Wet iub Faii-good Pooi Faii Pooi Pooi
Diy iub Good Faii Good Good Faii
Heat iesistance Faii-good Pooi Pooi Good Good
Foam Faii-good Pooi Faii Faii Pooi
Piint quality Faii-good Faii Faii Pooi Good
Gloss Faii-good Pooi Good Pooi Good
Diying iate Faii Pooi Pooi Pooi Good
Shelf life Good Faii Faii Faii Faii
Resolubility Faii Faii Good Good Good
Scurce: Fiom Sen, G., Am. Ink Maker, õ5, 12 (1987).
© 2006 by Taylor & Erancis Group, LLC
46-S Cooríng· Tec|no|ogy Hondboo|, T|írd ídíríon
With incieased ieseaich and development effoits, the outlook foi impioved peifoimance and giowth
of wateiboine aciylic-based inks is quite optimistic.
46.5 Cuating Techniques
A vaiiety of coating techniques aie used foi applying adhesives, coatings, and inks. The specifc method
chosen depends on ceitain ciiteiia, including the following:
· Viscosity/iheology
· Film thickness desiied
· Shape of substiate
· Cost
· Veisatility of use
· Thickness toleiances
Table 46.4 illustiates the coating techniques that have been used successfully in thiee applications aieas:
adhesives, coatings, and inks. (The list is not exhaustive.)
The following methods aie widely used and will be discussed in gieatei detail:
· Giavuie
· Flexogiaphic
· Wiie-wound iod
· Knife ovei ioll
· Reveise ioll
46.5.1 Gravure Cuaters
Giavuie coateis aie used typically when coating weights undei 0.2 mil aie desiied. The giavuie coatei is
used in the ink industiy when a piecise, iepioducible amount of ink has to be applied to a substiate.
Giavuie cylindeis aie engiaved with vaiious fne patteins called cells. The patteins aie designated by the
numbei of cells pei inch, followed by the cell name, which iepiesents the shape of the cell (e.g., qua-
diangulai, helical, pyiamidal). Aftei application, the applied ink pattein will ßow togethei on the substiate
to foim a continuous flm.
TABLE 46.4 Commeicial Coating Techniques
Usefulness with
Adhesives Coatings Inks
Giavuie - - -
Flexogiaphic - - -
Letteipiess - - -
Lithogiaphic offset - - -
Scieen - - -
Wiie-wound iod - - -
Knife ovei ioll - - -
Reveise ioll - - -
Diiect ioll - - -
Floating knife - - -
Cuitain coating - - -
Aii spiay - - -
Aiiless spiay - - -
Electiostatic spiay - - -
Biush - - -
Dip coating - - -
© 2006 by Taylor & Erancis Group, LLC
Acry|íc Po|ymer· 46-9
The majoi advantage of giavuie coateis is that coating weight is independent of web tension and line
speed. Howevei, once iunning, the coating weight can be vaiied only by changing the peicent solids of
the ink (oi adhesive). This method, theiefoie, is costly because of the need to maintain many cylindeis
to accommodate vaiying coating weights.
Laminating adhesives foi the ßexible packaging industiy use giavuie coateis. Typical coatings weights
foi these applications aie about 0.2 mil. These aie applied piimaiily using a quadiangulai cell pattein.
46.5.2 F!exugraphic Cuaters
In ßexogiaphic piinting, a cylindei similai to a giavuie cylindei picks up ink fiom the fountain and,
thiough a seiies of iolls, deposits a flm of wet ink on a iaised piinting suiface. This iaised piinting
suiface then applies ink to the substiate. The piocess is ideal foi dimensionally unstable substiates such
as thin polyolefn flms, because the piinting plate will defoim slightly when it comes in contact with
the flm and not cause defoimation of the flm. Application viscosity of ßexogiaphic inks is between 35
and 200 cp. Typical diy flm thickness applied is 0.1 to 0.3 mil.
46.5.3 Wire-Wuund Rud Cuaters
Wiie-wound iods aie used when ielatively low coating weights (0.2 to 0.8 mil) aie iequiied. Adhesive oi
coating viscosities of 200 to 1000 cp would be typical. Simplicity of opeiation, low maintenance, and
inheient low sheai chaiacteiistics make this technique a populai choice. Rod coateis apply an excess of
coating to the substiate and then utilize a wiie-wound iod foi meteiing to the desiied coating weight.
The fnal amount of coating iemaining on the substiate is a function of the aiea of the cavity between
the tightly wiapped wiies on the iod. The numbei given to the iod indicates the thickness of the wiie
wound on it. Foi example, a #16 iod would have 0.016 in. diametei wiie wound on it. As the numbei
incieases, so does the thickness of the wiie and volume of the cavity between adjacent wiies; thus, highei
numbeis deposit gieatei amounts of adhesive. Additional factois that affect coating weight deposition
foi a given iod aie web tension and unifoimity, adhesive solids, viscosity, and iheology. When applying
low coating weights, wiie-wound iods aie second only to giavuie coateis in depositing accuiate and
unifoim coating thicknsses. Ease of changeovei and low cost give wiie-wound iods an advantage ovei
giavuie coateis.
46.5.4 Knile uver Ru!! Cuaters
Knife ovei ioll coateis have long been used to apply adhesives foi high viscosity, high coating weight,
piessuie-sensitive pioducts, such as masking tapes. A knife ovei ioll coatei consists of a iubbei oi steel
backing ioll, a knife, and a coating hoppei. Because the substiate passes between knife and backing ioll,
any vaiiation in backing thickness will cause a vaiiation in adhesive applied. This is the majoi diawback
to the knife ovei ioll method. If backing thickness incieases, the amount of adhesive deposited in that
aiea decieases. Theiefoie, the unifoimity of the adhesive laydown is only as good as the piofle oi calipei
of the backing mateiial being coated.
Typically, viscosities of 10,000 to 100,000 cp can be applied by this method, which gives it some
attiactiveness. Depending on adhesive solids and viscosities, coating weights of 0.5 to 2.0 diy mils can
be applied.
46.5.5 Reverse Ru!! Cuaters
Reveise ioll coateis have been the piimaiy method foi the pioduction of high quality, piessuie-sensitive
decals foi the giaphic aits industiy. The ieveise ioll coatei consists of a iotating steel applicatoi ioll, a
stationaiy steel meteiing ioll, and a iotating iubbei backup ioll. The applicatoi ioll moves in the opposite
diiection of the web, which indicates the deiivation of the name. Coating weight is contiolled by the
speed of the applicatoi iollei ielative to the speed of the backup iollei. Speeding up the applicatoi ioll
© 2006 by Taylor & Erancis Group, LLC
46-10 Cooríng· Tec|no|ogy Hondboo|, T|írd ídíríon
incieases coating weight, wheieas slowing the applicatoi ioll decieases coating weight. The piimaiy ieason
foi using a ieveise ioll coatei is that a piecise, unifoim coating weight acioss the web can be attained.
Diied flm toleiances of ~0.0001 in. aie possible. The othei desiiable featuie is that coating weight
thickness is independent of the backing weight vaiiation. This is exactly opposite to the ielationship on
a knife ovei ioll coatei. Coating thickness in a ieveise ioll coatei is geneially a function of the following:
· Gap between applicatoi and meteiing ioll
· Applicatoi ioll speed
· Adhesive solids, viscosity, and iheology
Two piimaiy coating supply systems aie used when applying adhesives oi coatings by ieveise ioll. Foi
highei viscosities (10,000 to 20,000 cp), a nip-fed aiiangement is utilized. Foi lowei viscosities (3000 to
10,000 cp), a pan-fed system is piefeiied.
The piincipal diawback to the ieveise ioll coatei is the expense, as high piecision iolls and beaiings
aie iequiied. Howevei, the initial investment is usually outweighed by the impiovement in quality of the
fnished pioduct.
1. J. A. Biand and L. W. Moigan, U.S. Patent 4,546,160; S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
2. K. W. Fiee, U.S. Patent 3,821,330; E. I. Dupont de Nemouis and Co.
3. K. Shimada et al., U.S. Patent 3,968,059; Mitsubishi Raon Co. Ltd.
4. H. F. Maik, Encyclcpedia cf Pclymer Science and Technclcgy, Vol. 5. New Yoik: Wiley, 2003, pp.
5. B.F. Goodiich Chemical Company, Latex Pioduct Date, Bulletin L-12, p. 14.
6. Rohm and Haas Company, Bulletin SP197, Special Pioducts Depaitment.
7. B.F. Goodiich Chemical Company, Latex Bulletin L-10, p. 4.
8. B.F. Goodiich Chemical Company, Latex Bulletin L-19, p. 12.
9. R. A. Heckman, }. Prct. Ccat. Iinings, 3. 10 (1986).
10. J. E. Fitzwatei, Ji., }. \ater-Bcrne Ccat., 8, 3 (1985).
11. J. E. Fitzwatei, Ji., }. \ater-Bcrne Ccat., 7, 3 (1984).
12. G. Pollano and A. Luiiei, }. \ater-Bcrne Ccat., 9, 1 (1986).
13. P. Foieman, Paper Film and Fcil Ccnverter, Novembei 1982.
14. R. A. Lombaidi, Adhes. Age, Febiuaiy 1987.
15. A. H. Bealieu and F. P. Hoenisch, }. \ater-Bcrne Ccat., 10, 1 (1987).
16. D. Satas, Handbcck cf Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Technclcgy, 2nd ed. New Yoik: Van Nostiand
Reinhold, 1989.
17. R. A. Lombaidi, Higher Perfcrmance \ater-Bcrne Pressure Sensitive Adhesives. Piessuie Sensitive
Tape Council Seminai, Itasca, IL, 1987.
18. F. T. Koehlei and J. A. Fiies, Acrylic Emulsicn PSAs. Perfcrmance vs. Acrylic Scluticns. Spiing Seminai,
Adhesive and Sealant Council, Atlanta, 1985.
19. G. Sen, Am. Ink Maker, õ5, 12 (1987).
20. M. T. Nowak, Am. Ink Maker, õ2, 10 (1984).
© 2006 by Taylor & Erancis Group, LLC