Understanding Ink for Pad Printing

Pad printing inks are for printing images on different surfaces. To use these inks, you will need a pad printing machine. These printing equipment aid in achieving high quality, repeatable prints. For this reason, it is important to have a high quality equipment and pad printing supplies. Printing supplies include plates, cups, rings, pads, and inks. Having the right pad printing ink is a key to printing the perfect image using a pad printing machine. Hence understanding pad printing inks is key to printing successfully. 
There are many variations of inks depending on the substrate, color, and grade. To identify the correct ink, it is important we use a formula to choose the correct ink.

How to choose an Ink Series

Natron pad printing inks have two or three letters followed by a series of numbers. In certain cases these numbers are followed by letters. The first two or three letters identify the ink series. Let’s use the SE silicone inks to illustrate this. Using the color SE 358 as an example, the ink is part of the SE Series. The series tells you about the inks’ qualities and uses. For example, the SE ink series works best on silicone surfaces. On the other hand, the TP Series ink prints on plastics, wood, leather, and coated metals.

How to Identify your Ink Color

After the two or three letters that identify the series, comes the next number or letter sequence. All our series colors have 3 digits. The three digits identify the color shade. Generally, the colors are identified as “YY###”. The YY represents the series and the ### represents the color shade. For example, the ink ST 310 is a white standard color in the ST series. All our colors are formulated for both painting and color ink mixing. These inks have a high pigment ratio and excellent printability. Additionally, these inks when mixed they produce other custom color shades.

Hyper Colors

While all our inks have high pigment ratios, there are certain color shades with extra pigmentation. These are specifically in the silicone ink series. These inks are designated with the “HD” letters after the color shade. The HD designates the hyper colors. For example, SE 315HD. This means that the ink SE 315 HD is a yellow extra high-opacity ink in the SE series. Hyper colors have very high opacity.
This nomenclature helps users in understanding pad printing inks. It also allows for a simple way to determine which ink to use for a certain substrate. We use this system to guide our customers to selecting the best ink for their application.
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