Electroluminescent Technology Cosmetics

- January 01, 2016 -

City lights dance and shout for attention. Create presentations with the same electric energy.

Drawing on expertise from Dow's electronics business, Dow Cosmetic Solutions has adopted the latest advances in electroluminescent technology to bring the exceptional transparency of Dow™ Surlyn® resin to the fore. The result: Striking, illuminated Point of Sale (POS) displays and cosmetic packaging concepts that capture the imagination, help differentiate cosmetics packaging and set new standards in shelf-appeal.

According to the company, new concepts for illuminated bottles, jars, closures and displays, some of them in combination with other aesthetic materials such as Dow™ Corian® surfaces, are currently being developed. The incorporation of electroluminescent technology represents just one of a number of unique solutions being developed by Dow for the cosmetic industry - others include nomadic perfume delivery systems, sample testers and thick-walled, transparent polymer bottles.

This particular innovation is based upon the use of conducting, insulating and luminescent inks, developed by Dow Microcircuit Materials (MCM), which are suitable for manufacturing printed electroluminescent \"lamps\". Working closely with an alliance partner, skilled in the screen-printing of electronic circuitry to manufacture the lamps, it is possible, for example, to miniaturise all components so as to integrate them into cosmetic packaging. Shielded by a tough, transparent outer-layer of Surlyn® resin, the result is an enticing illumination of the packaging, with effects such as a warm glow, likely to catch the eye of the passing consumer.

The market potential for this technological advance related to miniaturizing components - the battery is the size of a watch battery and the converter a size of a paperclip. This results in a cost-effective, unique alternative for cosmetic displays that can set products apart from the competition. In addition, electroluminescent lighting promotes and encourages the use of Surlyn® resins in cosmetic packaging - their toughness and glass-like transparency complement the new technology to produce a unique, appealing packaging solution, able to withstand the wear-and-tear of today's retail environment.

Marketed by Dow MCM under the name DuPont™ Luxprint®, the technology package comprises the luminescent inks as well as other materials, such as a transparent sputtered ITO (Indium Tin Oxide) polyester substrate and the power source.

Though the lifetime of the illuminated lamps depends on their size, trials with prototypes have demonstrated one week continuous operation. There is, however, a possibility to incorporate pressure switches in the design of the container to enable the controlled activation and deactivation of the lamps. Another advantage: the phosphors used in Luxprint® EL inks are microencapsulated to prevent the penetration of moisture and thus prolong the useful life of the lamps. The polymer binders in the inks have also been selected to provide a barrier to moisture. Finally, all inks are mutually compatible, and provide excellent adhesion to polyester or other common film substrates.