Printing techniques with UV curing: versatile and time-saving
UV curing printing techniques include several processes. They have in common that printing inks are used that harden and dry with UV light. The special ink does not penetrate the material, but dries on the surface. This type of fast drying is used in various processes such as offset printing, flexographic printing or digital printing. The history of machine UV printing is young and begins in the 21st century. The first UV printers worked with mercury lamps . These are still primarily in use today, but the focus is shifting to LED lamps. The technology, its equipment and its areas of application expand from year to year.
UV light drying
In UV printer in Pakistan, specially processed inks and varnishes are used that dry with ultraviolet light. The technology is linked to the printer’s UV system.
This consists of the UV lamps, reflectors and ballasts for the lamps. The UV lamps consist of mercury and quartz or light emitting diodes. LEDs have the advantage that they save more energy, are ready for use more quickly, have a stronger color, are more environmentally friendly and are more durable than mercury lamps. However, they are more expensive to buy and currently not that broad in the color palette.
Every year there are new developments regarding the efficiency of printers with UV curing. This improves demands on occupational safety, the space for the printing machines or cooling systems. Innovations in UV printing include electron beam curing and hybrid inks, for example.
Depending on the material used, the printed products outdoors retain their color quality for two to three years without further treatment.
When using it, it should be noted that perfect results depend on the printing process and materials being precisely matched to one another.
Advantages and areas of application
The advantages of UV printing lie in the fast drying of the materials to be printed. This reduces the production time and enables time-saving further processing. Since UV inks do not depend on absorbent materials, UV printing can be used on a wide variety of surfaces. The variety of materials to be printed makes the process particularly attractive for the packaging industry and in the marketing sector. Another plus point is the color precision .
UV printers are more expensive to purchase due to their efficiency, even with small quantities. Since the paint hardens on the material, further treatment such as lamination is not necessary. This reduces the processing costs. The products processed with UV printing differ from other printed products in that they have a slightly satined surface. Depending on the material, it is possible to refine or fix the prints made with varnishes. This protects special products from mechanical stress.
Since the technology can be used in various printing processes, the areas of application are correspondingly wide. It is used for packaging in the form of sheet metal printing, label printing , digital printing or flexographic printing. With UV sheet metal printing, cans, bottle lids and other metal packaging produced in large quantities can be printed quickly and in an energy-saving manner. The spectrum of UV digital printing includes various materials from paper and cardboard to wood, glass, ceramics and plastics. Foils, paper, PVC and other plastics can be produced in a more resource-efficient manner with UV offset printing.