UV Ink Adhesion challenges

As UV inkjet printing gets popular, many companies are using UV inks for digital printing to print different substrates. Different substrates introduce UV ink adhesion challenges. These adhesion challenges have led many printing companies to miss out on lucrative printing jobs. Luckily, Boston Industrial Solutions, Inc., has worked hard to formulate UV inks that adhere to many substrates, in addition to UV printer inkjet primers.
 
The low surface energy of the substrate is a major reason for poor ink adhesion. Examples of substrates with LSE include glass, stainless steel, tritan plastics, polypropylene, tiles, and ceramics. There are several ways to altering the LSE (dyne level) of substrates. These include ink adhesion promoter, flame treatment systems, plasma treatments, and many others. The goal of these treatments is to achieve an optimum print durability.

Surface pre-treatment methods

From experience, we know that cured UV ink does not mean good adhesion on a surface. Ink adhesion is affected by the type of surface and pretreatment used. Let us explore surface treatment methods to aid with UV ink adhesion. Before printing on any substrate, always make sure that you operate at an optimal temperature of 25 °C–30 °C. Also, make sure the UV lamp glass is clean.

Ink adhesion promoter

Ink adhesion promoters, also known as primers or adhesive promoters, are easy to use on substrates. Wipe on the substrates to apply these adhesive primers. Key advantages include cost, simplicity, and ease of use; most importantly, they are very effective. To use these primers, simply wet a lint-free cloth and wipe on the substrate. Wait for 2–10 minutes and then print.

Below are the best UV ink adhesion promoters.

When using these primers, it is important to make sure operators apply the primer the same way—the application process is manual. Additionally, it is important to use primers in a well ventilated environment, use PPE, and always observe good manufacturing processes.

Learn how to apply Natron G1 UV primer for glass.

Pretreatment Systems for Digital Printing

Pretreatment Systems for Digital Printing offer speed and consistency, especially for high volume production environments. Additionally, these systems are great because they increase output and reduce waste. There are some systems that use chemicals to coat substrates such as glass. Other systems use pyrosil and flame treatment to aid UV ink adhesion. These systems are perfect for high-volume industrial applications such as glass printing. Learn more about improving UV ink adhesion with primers.

Jettable ink primer

Jettable primers are printed on the substrate like other colored UV inks.

Pretreatment Systems for Digital Printing offer speed and consistency, especially for high volume production environments. Additionally, these systems are great because they increase output and reduce waste. There are some systems that use chemicals to coat substrates such as glass. Other systems use pyrosil and flame treatment to aid UV ink adhesion. These systems are perfect for high-volume industrial applications such as glass printing.

Jettable primers are printed on the substrate like other colored UV inks. These types of primers get jetted through the print head on demand. This application method have many advantages because it is fast, consistent, and has the least amount of waste. The primer is simply applied where and when it is needed.

Testing for ink adhesion

There are several ways to test UV ink adhesion. These are industry standards, scientific, or real-application testing. An example of an industry standard is the ASTM tape test. The scientific way would be to use an RCA Abrasion Wear Tester. Real-application testing involves printing the product and exposing it to the elements that it would go through. For example, a pad printed textile care label would be washed over 50 times to gauge what the print looks like. Printed glassware would be put in a dishwasher to make sure that the ink can stand up to heat and moisture.

When doing ink testing, make sure you have printed samples labelled with some primer wiped or pretreated. Print the samples and do the testing. For more information about pad printing testing or ink application, please contact us.

 

 

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