UFlex Limited has announced that its chemical division has secured a patent (Patent No 354903) on ‘A process for the preparation of Epoxy Ester Resin’ in accordance with the provisions of the Patents Act, 1970. Epoxy Ester resins are known for their use in coatings, paints and adhesives. UFlex’ Chemicals Business is a leading manufacturer of Inks, Coatings and Adhesives for flexible packaging, cartons, labels, and paperboard. This is the first patent for Chemicals business ever in India and it will be considering applying for a global patent in due course of time. Epoxy Resins are gaining supremacy over the conventional use of Vinyl Esters and polyesters in the Flexible Packaging industry as well as in Offset printing areas.
UFlex’ new patent will ensure technical advancement in providing a process for resin preparation wherein no wastewater treatment is required which is a significant move in the direction of sustainability. Furthermore, Epoxy Ester Resin prepared by this process will be used in radiation curing or energy curing and therefore curing will be faster, unlike the typical Epoxy Ester resin which is thermally cured and takes a long time besides being uneconomical.
In a statement, Rajesh Bhasin, Joint President, Chemicals Division said, “The issuance of this patent is another step in the development of a robust portfolio for our business. This is part of our initiative to backward integrate, using our inherent strengths. Such initiatives help us to have greater control over product quality.”
Before this patent was registered, conventionally Epoxy Ester resin was produced in a two-stage process. The first stage is condensation which generates a lot of salt that is removed through several water washings, resulting in a high effluent generation. Typically, wastewater contains TDS and COD, which, therefore, requires large capital investment for wastewater treatment plants adding to the capital expenditure and operating expense. In the second stage, Epoxy resin is converted into Epoxy Ester resin with the esterification process which results in the formation of undesirable Epoxy Ester resin, which has a dark colour and odour. However, UFlex’ newly invented and patented approach arrests the challenges posed in a conventional method as the Epoxy ester produced has no wastewater generation, no odour and neither a dark colour.