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A new concept for water based barrier coatings


The concept of water based barrier coatings is straightforward – they keep contents in, the external atmosphere out, and help maintain the strength of paper and board packaging by preventing moisture / grease absorbtion.


What is a Water Based Barrier Coating?Pizza Box treated with a water based barrier coating

Water based barrier coatings are water-based dispersions of film-forming polymer(s), additives and pigments.


The advantages of using pigment-filled water-based barrier coatings compared with unfilled coatings are improvements in barrier properties, optical properties, runnability, blocking resistance, and cost effectiveness.


Water-based barrier coatings give useful properties when applied to paper and paperboard. These properties and end uses that can benefit from them

arrowMoisture resistance (water or vapour);
  corrugated cases, multi-wall sacks, folding cartons, liquid containers

arrowOil and grease resistant;Packaging product treated with a water based barrier coating
  corrugated cases, bags, folding cartons, fast food  applications

arrowAroma barrier;
  food packaging, (gas barrier ie Oxygen, Nitrogen, Carbon dioxide, or   microorganism barrier)


Barrisurf – Features and Benefits

Imerys has developed new water-based barrier coatings using novel kaolins as part of the BARRISURF™ product line. These hyper-platy crystals create a tortuous path for moisture, oil, grease and oxygen transmission.

With the rising cost of polymers, incorporating Imerys BARRISURF™ kaolins in a formulation is a cost effective route to deliver superior barrier performance.


Imerys has developed new barrier kaolins as part of the BARRISURF™ product line. These hyper-platy, nano-dimensional thickness crystals create a tortuous coating structure that inherently resists penetration.


Electron Micrograph image of BARRISURF™ hyper-platy kaolin


Feature Benefit
Hyper-platy crystal thickness As the platy particles of BARRISURF™ align during the drying of the water based barrier coating, they form a tortuous path, giving up to 3x improvement in barrier to moisture, oil and grease and oxygen.
Potential raw material cost reduction Using BARRISURF™ to replace more expensive resin in a water based barrier coating formulation can give a significant cost reduction, whilst also improving the physical properties of the coating.
Recyclability By improving the performance of water-based barrier
coatings, BARRISURF™ allow water-based barrier coatings to replace other barrier technologies such as polymer extrusion, waxes and fluorocarbons.

The use of polymer extrusion and wax technologies prevents the re-pulping of the waste paper or board product. Paper and board treated with a water-based barrier coating can be re-pulped and is therefore recyclable.

The use of fluorocarbons has environmental concerns.

The cost of disposal to landfill can be transformed into income from the sale of recyclable paper and board, giving Barrisurf sustainable credentials.


The increased focus on recycling and sustainable packaging is driving the trend for water-based barrier coatings to replace fluorocarbon and extruded polymer barrier coatings. Platy kaolins incorporated with appropriate polymers can provide effective barrier performance against water, gases and grease. The use of these platy kaolins improve the barrier performance above and beyond typical latex coatings.


Product Related Literature

PDF FileBARRISURF™ Technical Information

Related Topics

bulletBARRISURF™ - Winner of the Imerys Sustainable Development Challenge 2008 for    Innovation


For more technical information, discussion of this novel concept and sample requests contact us


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