SAES is an advanced functional materials Group, focusing its business on the development and production of proprietary and specifically engineered solution (components and systems) for many industrial and scientific applications.
For almost 80 years the SAES Group has been supporting innovation in the information display and lamp industries, in technologies spanning from large vacuum power tubes to miniaturized silicon-based micromechanical devices, as well as in sophisticated high vacuum systems and in vacuum thermal insulation.
The Group also held a leading position in ultrapure gas handling for the semiconductor and other hi-tech markets for 30 years. Starting in 2004, the SAES Getters Group has expanded its business into advanced material markets, with the introduction of shape memory alloy (SMA) product lines. The Group competences in the materials sciences combined with acquired facilities made SAES a recognized benchmark in the sector and the first producer of SMA components and materials for industrial use.
SAES Group is continuously engaged in radical and incremental innovation by continuous investments in Research & Development domain (representing a high percentage of the company’s annual sales revenues) which are aimed at consolidating existing technologies and at developing innovative systems through the researching activity of 100 highly skilled people and the adoption of state-of-the-art equipment integrated in 3,300 sq. m corporate laboratories. Over the past 13 years, major effort has been dedicated to the developed of a new generation of functional materials, the Specialty Chemicals, suitable to innovate flexible packaging market through the creation of functional coatings. Engineered zeolites and organic microcapsules based on SAES proprietary technologies are designed according to application requirements and integrated in water based lacquers to integrate new functionalities in thin coating for flexible packaging applications. Innovative coatings as oxygen barriers, gas adsorption and antioxidant are already available at industrial scale.
In order to exploit SAES technologies in flexible packaging, a new company SAES Coated Films was established in 2018 to adopt water-based coatings deposition technology to produce high barrier and active packaging designed for circular economy. Two industrial wet coating lines are already available ensuring a production volume of 3500 Ton/year of coated films.
Total SAES production capacity is distributed at 10 manufacturing plants across 3 continents, a worldwide-based sales & service network, more than 1000 employees which allow the Group to combine multicultural skills and expertise to form a truly global enterprise. SAES Getters is headquartered in the Milan area (Italy) and has been listed on the Italian Stock Exchange Market, STAR segment, since 1986.
Task 4.1 Development of bioplastic film from FSS for packaging barrier coating (M1-M36) Leader: AIMPLAS Task 4.1 Development of bioplastic film from FSS for packaging barrier coating (M1-M36) Leader: AIMPLAS
Task 4.1.1. Gelatine barrier lacquer development
SAES will support AIMPLAS to develop a suitable formulation based on fish gelatine, which will act as a barrier coating for packaging products.
The new water based lacquers will be formulated including aqueous gelatine protein solution in combination with selected additives as natural plasticizers, crosslinkers, dispersing agents in order to optimize the lacquers processability as well as the coating mechanical properties.
The formulation will be characterize by means of Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) and Zeta-potential, rheological characterization, contact angle measurements.
Task 4.1.2. Gelatine barrier coating development
Starting from the developed lacquers, coatings at small scale will be produced by casting, blading, die coating, dip coating and spray coating on both mono-oriented polyethylene, as fossil film, and compostable films.
The obtained coatings will be characterized in terms of optical aspects, thermal stability, antioxidant capacity as well as oxygen and water barrier properties. Gelatine coating morphology will be characterized by means of Atomic force microscopy (AFM), Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM), Profilometry. Surface mechanical stability will be investigated through nanoindentation techniques to evaluate coating hardness (H) and modulus (E) that are relevant parameters for multilayer structure optimization.
Task 4.1.3. Multilayer films with gelatine barrier coating production.
AIMPLAS will produce multilayer structures in a semi-automatic multicoater using commercial fossil plastic films and commercial bio-based films.
A whole characterisation will be addressed consisting of: thickness homogeneity, coating weight, adhesion, water vapour and oxygen barrier transmission rate, tensile properties using a Universal Testing Machine, tear resistance by the Elmendorf test, nanoindentation on multilayer structures.
Task 4.2 Production of fish-based bioplastic final application (M36-M60) Leader: SAES
SAES will work on the formulation scale up 100kg batch. Industrial feasibility for large scale production and reproducibility of the coating will be assessed by SAES using the pilot roll-to-roll line.
Due to the high versatility, a large number of processing condition will be tested with the aim to fine-tune the economic process able to guarantee high packaging performance and high productivity. Three different deposition technologies (Gravure, Flexo, Slot die) will be adopted and for each techniques different configuration (roll characteristics) and process parameters will be investigated.
Wet and dry laminations unit will be adopted in combination to suitable adhesive. According to the structure characteristics, different lamination adhesives will be selected and used.
For the optimized structures, whole production process will be managed to produce from 500 to 1000 linear meters of multilayer structures at pre-production, up to 150 m/min making the developed systems available for packaging products. [Related deliverable: D4.2 – demostrator – sample of bioplastic products from upscaled production for food packaging]
Group Research Labs Manager
His course of study finally included an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) from Business School of Politecnico di Milano (MIP).
Dr. Vacca has been working for more than 20 years on Macromolecular Chemistry and advanced composites related topics. He has been working for more than 12 years for SAES on Specialty Chemicals where active or reactive filler materials are synthesized through bottom-up and top-down approaches and embedded in polymer matrices to induce new functional properties. Main topics of R&D activity concern the development of formulations for electronics, getter solutions, functional lacquers for flexible packaging, coatings and rollto- roll technologies.
P. Vacca is author and co-author of more than 35 scientific papers in international journals, more than 20 patents, two books chapters on materials and architectures for flexible and rigid encapsulation.
Head of Flexible Films Lab
For both academic degrees he discussed thesis regarding the production and characterization of ceramic and hybrid nano-structured materials via low environmental impact approaches. Part of his academic experience was spent at Packlab – University of Milano working on functional coating and surface engineering of polymer films for food packaging application.
He joined SAES in 2015 as researcher covering activities on products development based on polymer composites and formulation chemistry working on coated films for food packaging markets and related products. His activities are focused on inter-laboratory characterizations management for coated films and customer service with relevant contribution to mechanical and rheological research aspects, from bulk features down to local and interface effects.
Since January 2021 Mr. Campanella is head of Flexible Films Lab focused on flexible packaging products design through the adoption of state of art coating technologies collected in an innovative roll-to-roll prototyping line.
In 2014 she received the PhD in Materials Engineering discussing a thesis entitled “Manipulating the morphology and properties of immiscible polymer blends through nanoparticles – a viable route to enlarge the fields of application of bio-polymers”. During the PhD studies, Anna work as Research Associate Student in Materials Science and Engineering at “Queen Mary University of London” (2013). In the period 2014-2018 she covered the position of R&D Engineer at Novamont S.p.A., as Rheology and Injection Moulding specialist. In 2018, Anna joined Saes Getters S.p.A, as Senior Scientist in Functional Chemicals Labs inside the Corporate R&D Department. She works and coordinates multidisciplinary Research Projects devoted to development and optimization of polymer/getter composites for active packaging solutions. During her work experiences in industrial companies and during academic studies, she developed a broad knowledge of polymers and polymeric composites, in particular regarding their processing and synthesis, their physical, chemical and functional characterization.
Head of Characterization Lab
He covered in SAES Group the position of Head of Catalysis Lab to design and develop catalytic converter for combustion engines, then the position of Head of Purification Lab to produce gas purifier for semiconductor industry. Since 2008 he is responsible for the Functional Material Characterization Lab, a high skilled 12 people group that develop and perform analyses for SAES Group. The strength of this group is the global analysis approach, since it works for R&D Labs, Production and external customers on many advanced materials: polymer / inorganic film composites, special metal alloys for medical applications, traditional metal getters and high vacuum devices as particle accelerators. Stefano developed a broad knowledge on chemical analysis (IC, XRF, ICP, AAS, interstitial gases, potentiostat), physical analysis (FESEM-EDS, XRD) and functional analysis (gas / vapour sorption, TG, DSC, BET, particle size, IR, GC-MS).
She supported the growth of SAES Functional Chemicals platform focusing on specialty zeolites and getter fillers and contributing to the development of several dispensable products for advanced packaging applications.
In the last two years, she got a deep knowledge of functional coatings for flexible packaging application managing multilayer structure characterization and customer service activities to support new packaging products design. Alessandra is currently responsible for the development of innovative lacquers for flexible packaging application.