Avery Dennison recognized for another industry first!


Recognized by third-party experts, The Adhesive and Sealant Council (ASC), Avery Dennison won the 2022 ASC Innovation Award in the category of “New High-performance Pressure-sensitive Adhesive Applications.” Congrats on another industry first!


Communications Team

April 27, 2022


Avery Dennison recognized for another industry first!

Since 1935. petroleum-based solvent adhesives have been the go-to for high performance, pressure sensitive solutions.

Until now. 


Thanks to the Polymers, Adhesives, and Coatings Center of Excellence (PACE) team, the new and innovative adhesive formula delivers the same performance as solvent adhesives, but is now made with water, allowing for significant environmental savings. To get the scoop, we talked with Chuck Williams, senior director, R&D Global Platform, to learn more about this breakthrough technology and the significance of winning the ASC Innovation Award.


Fun video! Sounds like it’s time to celebrate a win for the PACE team. To start, what’s PACE, who’s on the team and what’s your role?


Chuck Williams: PACE stands for Polymers, Adhesives, and Coatings Center of Excellence. It is Avery Dennison’s long-term materials research group that brings new technologies to the forefront. The team of 40 world-class scientists and technicians is led by Diana Smirnova and has four areas of focus: sustainable technologies, advanced performance materials, print and media, and chemical process technology. I lead the Advanced Performance Materials team which aims to develop new material technologies to support our high-value segments.



AAc offers solvent-like performance from an emulsion (water-based) adhesive yielding sustainability and cost benefits.


What’s “advanced acrylic technology” and where/how is it used at Avery Dennison?

The Advanced Acrylic (AAc) adhesive platform is based on Avery Dennison’s patented technology that enables us to more precisely control the design of the polymer and thereby alter the molecular network that forms after coating and drying. With a network that absorbs more energy, AAc adhesive offers both higher peel performance and high cohesive (shear) strength. Before this technology, such high performance could only be achieved with solvent-based adhesives, which come with elevated cost and chemical hazards. AAc offers solvent-like performance from an emulsion (water-based) adhesive yielding sustainability and cost benefits. It is currently used in the Graphics Solutions business for a few signature materials. 


How big of a deal is it to have received the 2022 Innovator Award from ASC? Has Avery Dennison won in the past? 

 The World Adhesive Conference (WAC 2022) only happens every four years and rotates around the globe, so to be recognized by the industry as an innovation leader is significant. All of the major adhesive companies and universities doing research in adhesives and sealants submitted entries. This is the first time the Adhesive and Sealants Council has recognized Avery Dennison for our technical abilities.


Avery Dennison recognized for another industry first!


We’re calling this an innovation breakthrough. Why hasn’t it been done before?

The breakthrough is getting solvent adhesive performance in an emulsion adhesive. We have seen the benefit of such molecular design in solvent adhesives for some time but it took us until now to achieve this in emulsion systems. Due to their nature, emulsions make this kind of chemistry difficult because the components don’t tend to like water. Mark Gower, the lead scientist, and our chemical process technology team, led by Andy Full, utilized new processing techniques to make the use of higher performing raw materials possible in an emulsion system.


I understand the development process took a while. What advice would you give to people about risk, failure and never giving up on the innovation journey? What kept the team going despite hurdles along the way? 

CW: While the initial technology to product launch took about six years, the technology platform has continued to evolve and improve. I would like to acknowledge the risk. Most people would say that Mark Gower, the lead scientist on the program took a huge risk as he moved his family from Melbourne Australia to Mill Hall, Pennsylvania, to expressly work on this technology. His belief, passion, and persistence paid off. Although there were good and bad days, the PACE team rallied around Mark when challenges and issues arose. We also had the backing and support of upper management that made the journey less bumpy. I would like to thank Hassan Ramalie, Pascale Wautelet, Bill Podojil and Diana Smirnova for their support in this technology development.  


Anything else you want us to know?

While this award comes through the PACE team, this is a win for Avery Dennison. This innovation wouldn’t be possible without the great support from our adhesives operations team, coating operations, Graphics marketing and R&D teams for laying the groundwork for its acceptance. It is very easy to not try something new because it looks different. Graphics marketing took a chance on a more sustainable technology and have seen that they can get the performance they needed with a water based solution. 

Thank you and congratulations to all that were involved in bringing this concept to life! At Avery Dennison, we will continue to lead the way through innovation.

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