The start-up company IonKraft has its origins at the IKV – Institute for Plastics Processing in Aachen and transfers scientific conclusions about plasma coating to industrial production technology.
Plasma coating technology – Plastic Packaging
Montgomery Jaritz and Benedikt Heuer founded the low-tech start-up IonKraft to use its technology in plant engineering. The company needs to make plastic packaging for barrier applications in the chemical industry recyclable and substitute multi-material solutions through plasma technology.
The alternative solution of Co-ex bottle with plasma coating technology
This technology has its foundations in the research work carried out by the plasma technology working group at IKV on the plasma-polymer barrier and corrosion security coatings. Presently, with IonKraft, it intends to find its way into industrial application.
Production technology for the coating of plastics utilizing plasma
At the heart of the enterprise is developing and producing a reactor that coats plastic packaging and gives it a chemical barrier solution. For the critical process adjustments at the customer’s propositions, a diagnostic-based development routine is ready, the foundation of which goes back to the IKV research work brought out in Collaborate Centre TR 87.
Slightly of performing empirical trials, coatings are developed based on diagnostics. Consequently, IonKraft can support the most beneficial functions of the layers to suit the individual packaging specifically.
The intimate cooperation of IonKraft with IKV and RWTH Aachen University is further continuing after the company’s founding: IKV’s acceleration technology, laboratories, and machines are still permanently available to IonKraft for carrying out complicated tests and analyses.
In increase, the business project was, before it was established, thoroughly examined by an external jury of professionals and is primarily financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy within the EXIST research transference program.
Technology opens up an extensive spectrum of applications up to 20L
The plasma layers connected utilizing a newly conceived reactor generate a strong migration barrier, for example, for solvents. The first reactor design should make it attainable to coat pack sizes of up to 20 liters.
Application for the Agro-chemical industry
This corresponds, for example, to the demand by the agricultural industry for the packaging of fertilizers either crop protection products. The advantage of the coatings applied by the plasma technology is that they can be used particularly thinly to monomer materials and do not impair the pack’s recyclability.
Best oxygen barrier property
This outcome can be utilized in many sectors and applications. In food packaging, for example, for which the method has already been approved, the coating acts as an oxygen limitation and prevents oxidizing of the contents.
Inside and Outsides coated
The plasma reactor produced by IonKraft is intended to coat containers from both the inside and outside. A two-sided coating can hence, for example, serve as an odor barrier, which encloses the lousy odour of recyclate.
If an odour difficulty is created through plasma coating, the field of application of recyclates can, on the source, be extended and the plastics cycle closed at a later point. In a separate project at IKV, research is currently being taken out as to what extent the coatings are suitable for making post-consumer recyclate saved for reuse in the food sector.