Adhesives Magazine

Small Steps Big Strides

November 1, 2010
One manufacturer is making big strides in offering environmentally friendly products.



Did you know that each day you take over 20,000 breaths and breathe about 25 lbs of air? Air pollution poses a serious threat to our nation’s health, and Intertape Polymer Group (IPG) is taking special measures to support healthy air.

IPG produces a range of tape- and film-based products designed for industrial applications in a variety of market segments, particularly focusing on solutions that support a clean environment. The ultimate goal is to provide a total solution comprising products that are used during the manufacture, packaging, and shipping of finished goods that lowers the environmental impact (i.e., footprint) left behind.

Eco-Friendly Product Development

One of IPG’s recent initiatives was to develop a comprehensive range of product technologies specifically for the manufacture of wind turbines, including blade and nacelle manufacturing; tower assembly; hub, bearing, and gearbox assembly; and electrical tapes for component parts such as generators and inverters. In addition, a high-performance masking tape, Intertape® brand Orange Mask™, has been designed based on the requirements of wind blade manufacturers. The product includes an adhesive that is formulated to perform with polyester, vinyl ester, and epoxy resins, and provide adhesion to semi-permanent mold release agents.

Solar panel production also requires a variety of temporary component securing and protecting products. Many types of filament tapes and tensilized polypropylene (TPP) products are available for applications including laminate, cable and reverse side cell fixation, as well as double-coated tapes for mounting applications.

In addition, AquaMaster™ heavy-duty reinforced membranes are used to line ponds that grow algae, which is harvested and converted into biofuel. Algae has emerged as a promising feedstock for future biofuels due to its high energy content, energy yield per acre, fast growth, and ability to grow in water of varying quality. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), algae may be able to produce 100 times more oil per acre than soybeans-currently the leading source of U.S. biodiesel-or any other terrestrial oil-producing crop.

IPG’s research and development team continues to create tape and film technologies and products that are environmentally preferable, such as American® tape brand masking solutions for the automotive repair industry. American tape products perform well with waterborne paint systems; automotive refinishers can reduce their emissions by as much as 38% by switching from solventborne to waterborne systems.

Shipping Solutions

Companies can also communicate their environmental message through their shipping processes. Continuing the “green” chain drives change and creates a better future for younger and future generations.

IPG developed a product family of environmentally friendly shipping products called the Low-Environmental Impact Line from Intertape. One of the products in the line is Central™ water-activated paper tape, a biodegradable starch-based adhesive that aggressively bonds to corrugated cartons, even in dusty or dirty environments. The paper tapes’ backing is entirely biodegradable, which makes them 100% recyclable and repulpable.

In addition, OXO-biodegradable film technology is offered in iCushion™ air pillows, Exlfilmplus™ shrink film, SuperFlex™ high-performance film and StretchFlex™ standard-duty stretch film. The biodegradable film contains an additive that initiates chemical breakdown of the polymer chains more quickly and completely than a standard film when in the presence of oxygen and heat or UV light. These environmentally preferable products offer solutions for companies that seek to be more responsible in their manufacturing and distribution practices.

What's Next?

The future of the environmental movement, as well as planet, is in our hands. If we are willing to work together and make the environment and the well-being of everyone our top priorities, the future looks much brighter. Manufacturers unfortunately cannot eliminate all activities that affect the environment. However, a strong focus on the continual development of products and the improvement of internal sustainability activities can reduce our environmental impact-because every effort makes a difference.

For more information, visit the Green Initiative section of www.itape.com.

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