Markets and applications for microencapsulation
Our microcapsules can perform many different functions in a wide variety of processes, such as
- Release of active ingredients at the desired place at the desired time
- Continuous and delayed release of active substances
- Encapsulation of reactive substances to convert two-component systems into one-component formulations
- Increase in performance of additives
- Improved performance through more targeted use of active ingredients
- Protection against environmental influences
- Achievement of new functionalities
- Avoiding or dissolving raw material incompatibilities in product formulations
- Resource-saving use of cost-intensive raw materials
In addition, there is a variety of possible active ingredients that are enhanced by encapsulation. These include, among others:
- Corrosion inhibitors
- Thermochromic dyes
- pH indicators
- Flame retardants
Household + Body care
The microencapsulation ensures a prolonged freshness effect for detergents and cleaning products. With its excellent stability microencapsulation enables safe transportation of the highly volatile substances and their controlled release at the required moment. The stability or wall thickness of the capsules can be individually adjusted. The release of the scents is controlled by a mechanical action – when wearing the washed clothes or, for example, when walking on the floor covering that has been cleaned with the corresponding cleaning product.
The main applications of microencapsulation in personal care products & cosmetics are vitamins, essential oils, fragrances, skin moisturizing agents, skin cooling agents, and anti-aging agents. The active ingredient or core in the microcapsule is used for enhancing the physiological conditions of the target area; for example, the human skin. The event of microcapsule rupturing does not occur during the production; instead, it is intended to occur during the application on the skin when light pressure is created on the microcapsule.
Agrochemicals and crop protection are some of the most targeted applications of the microencapsulation technology. Microencapsulation technology is further used in herbicides & fertilizers, pheromones, insecticides & pesticides, microbicides, and other agrochemicals. Microcapsules are sprayed in the form of dispersion to deliver pheromones that help inhibit the growth and reproduction of insects in the field. The controlled release phenomena are used in pesticides which, owing to which pesticides are required less frequently as well as in less quantity. The direct use of non-microencapsulated pesticides may cause losses due to leaching, evaporation, and degradation. Thus, microencapsulation provides protection to the pesticide molecules from direct contact with the environment.
Microencapsulation provides the following benefits in agrochemical applications:
- Provides controlled and slow release of active ingredient
- Provides effective use of chemicals
- Provides targeted application
- Reduces wastage of chemicals
- Safe for users
- Protects the environment from direct impact of chemicals
Microencapsulation technology is used for the manufacturing of carbonless paper in the paper industry. The microencapsulated coating of dye is applied on the reverse side of the first sheet (original), and the reactive clay coating is applied on the top side of the second sheet (copy). The clay reacts with microencapsulated dye or ink to form permeant marking on the copy sheet which negates the need for a special carbon sheet between the original sheet and the copy sheet. The microencapsulated ink coated sheet is also known as Coated Black (CB) sheet whereas, the clay coated sheet is referred as Coated Front (CF). When pressure is applied on the CB sheet for writing, the microcapsules in the pressurized area breaks and releases their dye to form an impression on the copy paper. Due to the microsized capsules, the efficiency in the printing is high.
In multi-sensory marketing, scented varnishes with microencapsulated fragrances can be used to make mailings, flyers, postcards, packaging or even gift wrapping paper more effective. Individual scented oils are encapsulated and printed onto the substrate as a scented varnish. The scent is released by friction. The interaction with the product increases brand awareness, advertising success and increases the effectiveness of the advertising message.
The microencapsulation technology also finds application in construction and building materials. Microencapsulated ingredients are added into various materials such as cement, lime, concrete, mortar, artificial marble, sealants, paints, and other coatings for value addition of building material properties and enhanced functionality.
The addition of microencapsulated ingredients to construction materials provides the following benefits:
- Enhanced fireproofing
- Provides insulation at the required sites
- Reduces water absorption of cement sheets
- Reduces degradation and expansion of the mortar
- Improves resistance to freeze & freeze thaw
- Reduces thermal cracking caused due to the heat released by cement after hydration
- Improved hydration properties of the mortar and concrete
Microencapsulation in textiles is intended for various value-added applications. For instance, bed linens are encapsulated to assist relaxation; encapsulated fragrance is added to fabrics for a pleasant smell; and microencapsulation helps increase the comfort of gym & club wear by making them lightweight. Microencapsulation provides advanced properties such as moisturizing, therapeutic oils, and insecticides to the fabric.
Microencapsulated phase change materials (PCMs) are widely used for advanced functions such as adaptation to change in environmental temperature. The microencapsulated PCMs absorb or release heat to adjust in the changing environmental temperature. Microencapsulated PCMs are commonly used for this property in sports equipment, military gear, bedding, clothing, building materials, and other consumer products.
In addition to the development and industrialisation of customised products, tolling rounds off our range of services. Thanks to a broad-based production technology and well-trained employees, we are able to manufacture a wide range of emulsion-based microcapsule technologies.