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The Latest Advances in UV Inks, Part I

(June 2010) posted on Mon May 24, 2010

Screen Printing asked industry experts to comment on the latest advancements in UV inks.

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By Gail Flower

Scott Schinlever The advantage of UV ink is that it adheres to a wide variety of rigid substrates. There are minimal VOCs released in the printing process, making printing with UV inks a greener process than using solvent-based ink. And the solvent-based inks only adhere to flexible substrates. It takes more time and labor if the printing is done on a flexible laminate, and the laminate needs to adhere to a rigid substrate. UV inks are expandable and print well on either flexible or rigid substrates.

Larry Hettinger The advances in UV chemistry were accompanied by corresponding advances in the design and manufacture of UV curing equipment. The case for UV was further strengthened by the availability of specialized inks geared toward particular applications. There are now few limitations on what can be printed using UV ink.

Bruce Ridge It was critical for screen printing to increase production speeds, which UV ink facilitated by allowing the development of inline and circular-format multicolor printing machines for graphics applications. The development of UV inks for inkjet printing has facilitated faster production speeds in all formats, as well as the development of flatbed machines that print large-format rigid media.

What are customers looking for in UV inks?

Mike Plier Is this a trick question? They’re looking for speed, efficiency and performance. UV systems are fast, eco-friendly, and performance is king.

Larry Hettinger They’re looking for the ability to produce superior quality prints faster and at lower cost using more environmentally friendly chemistry. Today’s product improvements have evolved to improve performance for numerous unique applications, reduce ink consumption, and minimize waste. It is all about productivity. Getting from proof to press faster and maintaining color through a press run is critical to ensure process control in today’s wide-format-print environment. It is about printing repeatable and consistent color.


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