Pad printing ink hardeners are cross-linkers that increase ink-film abrasion resistance and enhance durability. Hardeners for pad printing inks are also known as catalysts. Pad print hardeners are added to printing ink to make it more resistant to wear, tear, and in some cases withstand chemical and weather elements. Ink hardeners are critical additives and are important in handling ink adjustments for better adhesion and image life.
Different inks use different hardeners; the ink and hardener have to be chemically compatible. It is therefore very important to match a screen- or pad-printing ink with the right ink hardener.