You can be pardoned if you have not heard of digital UV Printing. It is a new technology that several printers and companies are beginning to provide as there are numerous advantages for the printing company as well as the end customer. Multiple printers are now offering UV printing due to its countless advantages over convention printing. The printing process is very similar between UV and conventional printing; the critical difference comes in the inks and the drying process associated between the two.
The chemistry of conventional ink includes evaporative solvents, pigments, and binders which require heat to harden or dry.
The chemistry of UV ink includes the pigments, binders and a photoinitiator. When the ink is displayed to a particular light wavelength, the photoinitiator will start a cross-linking chain effect which let the ink to harden or cure.
The majority of the graphics overlay designs use UV ink. Why? Because UV ink contains no solvents which mean:
- The ink is very environmentally friendly
- no solvents released into the air
- less energy is used to control the curing unit as opposed to the gas tunnel oven used to dry solvent-based inks
- Excellent detailed printing will not dry on the screen while the screen printing process
- Because there are no solvents present, the viscosity of the ink will not change on long-running jobs
- Because UV inks cure notably faster, drying time is not a bottleneck for throughput.
Though, when customers want a backlit graphic, conventional ink is typically the ink of option because it is vaguer than the UV graphic ink which eases the graphic better control and leads the backlighting to the areas it is expected to be seen.
Let me explain in detail about the inks:
Conventional printing uses solvent inks – though they are not the greenest alternative because they evaporate into the air, releasing VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds). Because of these, spray powders are often used to assist the drying process, this, in turn, can reduce the original color leaving a dull look. As conventional inks are absorbed into the paper, the downside is that they cannot be used on other materials such as foils, plastics or acrylics.
UV inks work better and very different from the conventional paper ink. Rather than being absorbed, the UV inks dry through a photomechanical process. The ink is exposed to an Ultraviolet light as it is printed which instantly turns the liquid into a dry state. This process leaves for very little solvent evaporation and almost no absorption of ink on the paper. So what does this mean? It means that you can print on virtually any type of surface and material! That’s a big advantage in itself!
Because UV dries on contact, they don’t smudge or smear. The best part is that unlike conventional printing, you do not have to wait days for the job to dry! Several printing companies are super proud to print in large format via Digital UV printers. This is specifically used for samples, low volume runs and custom printing on any of our stock line items.
The Benefits of UV Printing Over Conventional Printing
- Print on most materials
UV printing is good for the environment because no solvents are being discharged into the air, helping your firm to reduce its emissions. Another advantage is the TRUTH that you can print on nonporous stuff like plastic, glass, and metals. Mostly, if you can fit the stuff into the printing press, you can print on it with UV ink.
- Quicker than conventional printing
Aside from those as mentioned earlier, there are a few other significant advantages to this different printing process. For one, it’s far faster than conventional printing. You don’t have to pause for the ink on your items to dry, as the UV ink dries through a photomechanical method. It’s almost instant, so you can get more done in less time.
Finding the price intersection is the key. Because of this, UV printing is also an amazingly cost-effective method. Think about it; you’re saving money by the faster drying times. Though, there are also significant profits to be made by eliminating the need for aqueous coatings, which are required for conventional ink to dry faster and not smear. UV printing requires no coats.
- Vibrant finish
Also, UV printing often offers a more vibrant finish, because the UV lights give the ink no chance to soak into the paper. Photorealistic printing is more than possible, so whether you’re building an external sign or a stack of beautiful trading cards, your consumers are sure to be happy with the outcome.
- Changes in the UV printing industry
UV printing is currently enjoying rapid growth, changing from what was a niche technology into something all marketing and packaging printers should utilize. UV inks and printing methods are developing all the time, and they’re becoming more popular in particular areas, such as the signage industry.
Take a turn down a street, and you’ll see that shop symbols are becoming more engaging and high-end. This is because UV printers are now well-suited to create graphics with very high resolutions, making the property of the print far higher than it ever could be with more conventional printing methods, like screen printing.
Of course, UV printing is versatile and can be utilized for a wide range of projects, from branding water bottles to creating rich company cards. Finally, if you need to print on new or uncoated elements, UV printing is the most productive way to get excellent results.
It’s easy to notice why UV printing has beaten common water and solvent-based thermic drying methods and why it is required to continue growing in demand. Not just does the process speed up the making process – meaning more is produced in less time – denial rates are decreased as the quality is more excellent. Wet droplets of ink are ejected, so there is no smudging or rubbing off, and as the drying is almost instant, there is no evaporation and hence no loss of coating density or size. More excellent details are as possible, and colors are brighter and more clear as there is no suction on to the printing means: choosing UV printing over conventional printing methods could be the difference between making a luxury product, and something that feels much less superior.