Delivering Innovation in Adhesive Chemistry and Ink Composition through Digital Solutions
Since their invention, sticky notes have become a staple item in everyone’s office supply closet. Households use them as a means to exchange messages while financial workers use them to flag important items for their clients. Who knew the ability to temporarily affix a small piece of paper onto another surface would prove so revolutionary and versatile? Sticky notes are only one example of how adhesive chemistry can deliver innovative products that transform industries and our way of life. Pressure-sensitive adhesive chemistry, in particular, has the potential to find application beyond the office supply market.
The Growing Importance of Pressure-Sensitive Adhesive Chemistry and Ink Composition
In addition to sticky notes, pressure-sensitive adhesives play a role in a wide variety of office supplies: packing tape, printer labels and even self-sealing envelopes. But they’re also starting to play a larger role in other fields such as the automotive and medical industries. More companies are incorporating adhesives in their products because their usage makes assemblies less complex, resulting in overall time and cost savings. They also help reduce the number of manufacturing processes involved. For example, automotive companies use pressure-sensitive adhesives in pre-cut liners designed to minimize vibration and noise.1
In conjunction, ink durability has also grown in importance, especially as printer labels have become ubiquitous throughout multiple industries and replaced old-fashioned handheld label makers. Ink printed on labels must remain readable under a variety of conditions and be able to resist the action of external solvents such as water, acetone or bleach.2 Depending upon the environment, a faded, unreadable label can have a dire effect upon workplace protocols, so the ability to formulate an ink composition that maintains its crispness over time is highly desired.
Future Innovation in Adhesive Chemistry and Ink Composition through Digital Solutions
As the needs of consumers change, so too will future applications in adhesive chemistry. The current market has begun to prioritize sustainability and reclaiming waste, as we’ve previously noted in our discussion of reformulating recycled plastics. If the prevalence of these materials in the marketplace gains traction, then adhesives must also ensure that they are compatible with these new polymers. Does adhesion strength remain the same? If it’s meant to release without leaving residue, do those traits still hold true? If not, the adhesive formulations must be altered to take into account the properties of these newer materials.
Creating reformulations for newer materials isn’t the only concern. As the use of pressure-sensitive adhesives spreads into other industries, some pre-existing hindrances must be addressed. For example, wet and dirty surfaces present a problem. Adhesives fail to adhere to wet surfaces because the liquid prevents contact. Likewise, people who use sticky notes often are aware that they’re only reusable to a certain extent. The more the adhesive strip collects dust and dirt, the less effective a sticky note becomes. Studies are currently in progress looking at how marine organisms adhere to underwater surfaces in the hopes of overcoming limitations presented by moisture and dirt.3
The more pressure-sensitive adhesives gain influence in other industries, the more that adhesive chemistry must develop innovative products to address evolving consumer demands. Depending on consumer need, adhesives may need to be temporary or permanent while still staying secure no matter the circumstance. After all, a sticky note that doesn’t remain affixed to a desk isn’t a very effective reminder. At the same time, if the adhesive is meant to be temporary, consumers generally do not want to see residue. Consider medical tape, for instance. When wound dressings are removed, the tape often leaves behind a residue on the patient’s skin, and the likelihood of residue occurring increases the longer medical tape is left on.
No matter what industries pressure-sensitive adhesives impact today and in the future, companies must continue to deliver innovative products to satisfy consumer demand. And to fulfill this need, they must do so effectively and efficiently. The market can change in an instant and organizations should be able to respond appropriately, in order to capitalize on opportunities.
BIOVIA offers a solution specifically designed to support organizations working on Formulations in Consumer Packaged Goods Industries. Whether it’s to create an ink formulation for increased durability under a variety of harsh conditions or pressure-sensitive labels that come off easily without leaving a residue no matter how long they’re affixed, the solution helps companies accelerate the pace of innovation. It allows laboratories to collaborate across geographical borders and time zones by providing the means to reuse and share past experimental data. In addition, the platform reduces costs, safety risks and noncompliance, which boosts quality as well. If your firm is interested in adopting a digital solution that will aid your R&D efforts to develop formulations in demand by today’s market, please contact us today to learn more.
- “Sticky Innovation: New Adhesive Technologies Power the Auto Industry,” November 18, 2015, http://www.newequipment.com/Main/TopStories/Sticky-Innovation-New-Adhesive-Technologies-Power-1147.aspx ↩
- “Making ink bulletproof,” December 10, 2009, http://www.economist.com/node/15048773 ↩
- “Sticky when wet: Understanding the chemistry of strong adhesion,” August 17, 2015, http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/08/sticky-when-wet-understanding-the-chemistry-of-strong-adhesion/ ↩