UV ink adhesion promoter is a type of primer that is applied to a substrate before printing with UV-curable inks. The function of this primer is to improve the adhesion of the UV-curable ink to the substrate. This ensures that the prints are durable. UV ink adhesion promoters are typically applied using a spray, cloth, or roller. While these inkjet primers are geared towards UV inkjet inks, they also work with solvent-based inks. Note that there are solvent-based screen-printing inks and solvent-based pad printing inks. In this article, we specifically focus on UV adhesion promoters for use with UV and LED inkjet flatbed printers and roller coasters.

Do you really need an ink adhesion promoter?

Adhesion promoters, or surface modifiers, are extremely important when printing on low-surface-energy substrates. These low surface energy substrates include stainless steel, polypropylene plastics, and glass. All these substrates are hard and require neutral UV inkjet ink or hard UV inkjet ink. Flexible UV ink will not bond with these substrates. The Natron 314 Series UV Inkjet ink is an example of a neutral ink, while the Natron 270 Series is an example of a hard UV ink. To print on these hard-to-print substrates, primers or other forms of pre-treatment are necessary. These coatings (adhesion primers) are the foundation treatment agents that enable UV ink to bond to the substrate.

A recommended read: priming is the solution

Digital primers

Boston Industrial Solutions, Inc., offers a variety of inkjet primers for glass, stainless steel, coated metals, dense plastics, carbon fiber, tile, Formica, plastics, and more. All these primers are perfect for use with industrial UV flatbed inkjet printers. These primers work regardless of the ink manufacturer. Additionally, they are cost-effective. Let’s do a quick review of these UV inkjet primers.

  • Natron PP Primer works well on plastic and rubber substrates.
  • G1 Glass Primer is the world’s most popular glass primer. This UV adhesion promoter works by modifying the micro-structure of glass surfaces to create permanent bonding. This primer prepares glass, tiles, carbon fiber, and Tritan plastics.
  • M87 UV inkjet primer works well on powder-coated substrates, including polyester solid color-based powder coats from Prismatic Powders.
  • Lastly, the Natron JP254 primer. The JP254 UV inkjettable primer is a non-corrosive adhesion promoter for metals, glass, hard plastics, and powder-coated substrates. It works well with Helix machines, Xjet, FJet, Mimaki machines, etc.

Application Instructions for UV and LED Curable Inks:

These instructions are applicable to the PP UV ink adhesion promoter, the G1 primer, and the M87 primer. To apply the Natron JP254 the UV inkjet machine requires an extra print head and software for application.

  • Wear PPE (protective gear). Use nitrile gloves and safety glasses.
  • When printing or applying inkjet primers, always work in a clean, well-ventilated area.
  • Make sure that the parts or substrates are clean. Remove any debris and oils from the substrate. While these primers will remove oils from the substrate, we recommend cleaning the substrate with denatured alcohol. It does a great job of cleaning.
  • Wet a clean, dry, lint-free towel or microfiber cloth with the primer.
  • Wipe the substrate with the wet cloth loaded with the primer. Let the part dry before printing with UV inkjet ink.
  • All UV adhesion promoters will cure with the ink when flashed by the UV or LED lamp.

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