Use of kaolin clay in aqueous barrier coating applications, TAPPI Journal November 2023


Application: This research suggests that cost effective aqueous barrier coatings can be prepared using various kaolin clays to partially substitute for more expensive latex binder components. The barrier properties can be improved using a wide range of kaolin clays, but the use of high aspect ratio clay provides superior performance at reduced coat weight. This research can be utilized to decide a maximum or minimum clay loading to maintain differ-ent types of target barrier performance, as well as blocking and heat seal properties, in a single layer coating system.

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Author: Siva Devisetti, Gus Lempsink, and Prakash B. Malla
Use of kaolin clay in aqueous barrier coating applications,
ABSTRACT: Paper-based packaging with barrier effect, as opposed to single use plastics, is gaining more prominence for sustainability reasons. At the same time, latex- or biopolymer-based aqueous barrier coating dispersions are increasingly being adopted as a better alternative to the traditional barrier coating materials, such as wax, surface active chemicals, and polyethylene. In this work, studies were performed to determine the influence of different kaolin clays in latex binder-based aqueous coatings on barrier properties, namely, oil and grease, water resistance, and water vapor transmission rate, by applying coatings to solid bleached sulfate (SBS) paperboard substrate in the laboratory. The aim was to explore potential benefits of using kaolin clay to replace some of the latex binder in coating and improve or maintain various types of barrier performance and blocking without negatively influencing the other performance attributes, including heat seal. The delaminated clay with the highest shape factor provided improved barrier properties over the clays of low shape factor. The ultrafine and non-delaminated clays required significantly higher coat weights to reach satisfactory barrier properties. Coatings with different latex levels indicated that a considerably high proportion of coarse delaminated clay can be incorporated to replace latex binder, while still achieving exceptional barrier properties. Furthermore, a change in binder system was found to significantly alter the barrier properties and the role that a mineral pigment can play. The results indicate that a proper selection of binder systems for each barrier property would be required while considering the clay/latex coating systems.

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