BPA-free thermochromic ink is suitable for cans

Thermochromic inks have been used by Ball on its cans

A range of thermochromic inks that is free of bisphenol-A has been launched by US-based CTI for use on beverage cans.

Bisphenol-A is a component of well-established high-performance epoxy phenolic lacquers and has been criticised as a potential endocrine disruptor although allowed by the FDA and authorities in Europe for use in packaging.

The inks, which are also free of bisphenol F and S, are the latest product of Colorado Springs-based CTI’s BlinSpotz initiative, a range of chemistries that enable printable sensors for drugs. Thermochromic inks react to changes in temperature and can detect freezing, thawing, gradual warming, tampering and authentication.

While these are important properties for medications that need to be stored at specific temperatures, they have also been applied to beverage cans to create eye-catching dynamic designs. CTI product director Barry McCann told The Canmaker that the new BPA-free inks also could be easily applied in the metal decoration sector.

“It can work on food and beverage cans,” McCann said. “CTI has made its technology available across most high-speed commercial formats, including metal decorating for aluminium cans and monobloc applications, plus sheet offset printing on tinplate.

“Our primary concerns are always: Does it work? Is it affordable? and is it safe? CTI works with so many brands and converters that there has to be a positive answer to all three questions.”

CTI said the coronavirus crisis had “refocused the world’s attention on proper care of the supply chain for vaccines and drugs” and noted that BPA is considered as a potential endocrine disruptor.

“Several companies have attempted to limit bisphenol A, F and S in order to be more cautious,” the company said. “CTI recognised that effort and has responded with its latest innovation.”