The benefits of UV cure systems for printing
UV cure primers, inks and coatings are frequently used in printing processes and offer unique benefits not achievable with other technologies. UV cure systems offer a high speed, quick dry (cure), low energy and environmentally friendly solution for all commonly used print methods – lithographic (offset), flexographic, screen, gravure and inkjet. Instead of drying ovens, UV cure is based on the use of ultraviolet (UV) light to initiate a photochemical reaction that crosslinks the polymers providing an instantly dried system which is immediately ready for further handling. This fast dry time also enhances printing results as dust and airborne impurities have almost no time to contaminate the print surface.
UV cure systems for printing do not rely on solvent for viscosity reduction and so there are no solvents to evaporate during the process resulting in virtually no VOC emissions and no coating thickness or volume loss. Thus, UV cure systems provide a finished print surface that is consistent and reliable while also improving productivity and reducing energy use, waste and pollution.
Besides inks, primers and overprint varnishes (OPVs) can be applied and cured as part of UV curable print systems. Primers act to standardize the print surface for performance and appearance in order to accept the subsequent ink application. OPVs provide a protective and aesthetic layer over the inks. With UV technology, a high gloss surface can be immediately achieved without need for any further steps. Additionally though, the OPV can be formulated to provide other aesthetically unique appearances that make the finished print surface stand out.
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