Dow Corning agrees collaboration agreement with RecuLiner

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:

Silicon-based technology specialist Dow Corning has unveiled a collaboration agreement with RecuLiner, a Belgian company that has developed and patented a recycling technology which converts paper release liner waste from self-adhesive labels into different end products such as insulation material.

Kris Verschueren, global market segment manager packaging & pressure sensitive industry, Dow Corning, said: "As a value chain partner in the packaging industry, Dow Corning understands the industry concern of release liner waste. As a crucial part of label constructions, release liners serve as a carrier for labels to transfer the label to the final product, and as silicone layers are present on release liners, they become part of the waste stream. Coatings for release liners are a very important solution we offer to the pressure sensitive industry. Although we as raw material producers do not generate waste directly, we are conscious about the fact that our customer’s customer and their customer beyond are faced with the fact that once the liner served its purpose, it has to be considered as waste. Dow Corning wants to step up and contribute to the footprint reduction of the self-adhesive labelling industry.”

According to RecuLiner, its technology collects paper release liner waste and converts and processes it into loose fibres which can then be used for different end applications. For the use of thermal insulation material, dry fibres can be blown into walls or alternatively sprayed together with a pressure-sensitive adhesive onto walls.

This technique (CFI - Cellulose Fiber Insulation) is reported to display very low heat transmission, close to other insulation materials. In comparison to other recycled papers such as newspapers, which are normally used for this process, paper release liners are said to have the advantage of being made of pure virgin fibres which have not been printed on, and have a more consistent and uniform quality. This is reported to lead to a better and cleaner product (e.g. yellow instead of grey) and enhanced processability.

Eric Van Pottelbergh, general manager of RecuLiner, added: “When using the release liner waste instead of newspaper material as CFI, for instance, the presence of the silicones actually aids the application of the fibres onto walls by improving the flow of the fibres through the tubes. Also, the CFI product displays better humidity resistance which means that the silicone brings a strong added value to the recycled product. And this is not only the case for CFI materials. In fact, all other end-uses patented by RecuLiner are based on exploiting the synergies between the silicone’s original purpose of serving as an anti-adherent layer and the fluffy cellulose created after it has been recycled. Contrary to conventional paper recycling where silicones would be regarded as a substance to be removed, the applications developed by cuLiner enable the silicones to perform an important function in its second life as well.”

By entering into this collaborative agreement, Dow Corning and RecuLiner said they hope to promote the technology more broadly so it is more readily available as a solution for recycling paper release liner waste.

Van Pottelbergh continued: “The support provided [by Down Corning] will contribute to the further roll-out of the technology and generate further interest from parties willing to participate and invest in supporting the sustainability of the self-adhesive labelling industry on a global basis.”

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