Graphics Blog

LED-UV Drying and Curing: a Future Cure-All?

Curing inks and coatings using ultraviolet light energy has been deployed in the printing, signage and packaging industries for some time now and offer identifiable advantages in production. Inks can cure on the press and printed sheets can be ready for finishing immediately, instead of waiting for evaporative drying or partial infrared drying. UV curing of adhesives is even used in medicine—you may have had a tooth cap cured by using a UV light probe.

Read More

Topics: Acuity, UV inkjet

Not All UV Inks Are Created Equal

The utilization of inks using Ultra-Violet wavelength light to cure them is increasing all over the world, in all printing processes. Instead of relying on oil/solvent-based inks to cure by evaporation, thereby releasing unwanted VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the atmosphere, UV energy instantly polymerizes a combination of monomers and oligomers present in inks and coatings, onto a wide range of substrates. If that sounds a little fancy, in practical terms it means UV dries and fixes the ink instantly, so the printed item is ready-to-use straight off the printer.

The uptake of UV is strongest in the industrial inkjet printing market. These are the printers that make billboards, POP displays, posters, window signs, exhibition booth graphics, backlit panels, wall and floor décor, product decoration, printed textiles and, increasingly, labels, cartons and boxes for packaging use. Not so long ago these products would have been printed by the ‘silk screen’ process where thick pigmented inks are squeegeed through a fine mesh directly onto the substrate. The screen process is still around, but inkjet UV has taken vast chunks of its market due to its speed, cost and convenience.

Read More

Topics: inkjet printing, UV inkjet

Flatbed UV Production—Is There Still Room for Growth?

Since just after the turn of the century, when Inca Digital of the UK introduced the Eagle 44, a printing phenomenon has arisen and continues to rise – the flatbed UV printer. What does this term mean?

A flatbed UV printer is one that can print on a thick (up to 50mm or even 100mm), rigid flat substrate of considerable size (up to 3.2 metres x 2.2 metres), rather than on a flexible roll such as adhesive vinyl. Some flatbeds are ‘hybrid’ in that they offer roll-to-roll production as well as rigid. Other roll printers offer flatbed feed and delivery tables and can accommodate thinner materials, typically up to only 15mm. Hybrid models starting life as roll-to-roll printers, tend to be less accurate or productive as a dedicated flatbed UV.

Read More

Topics: UV inkjet

how to make money From wide format printing
Contact a Graphic Systems Representative