Energy-cured products have come a long way since their development in the early 1960s. In recent years, advances in raw materials and technology have allowed ink manufacturers to formulate improved products with superior properties that have made ultraviolet (UV), and to a lesser extent, electron beam (EB) inks ideal for numerous applications. Today, estimates place the graphic arts market for energy curable products anywhere between $300 million and $400 million.
“Buy some ice cream, orange juice, cereal, yogurt, a CD, a car, a pair of skis or other sports equipment, some flooring (wood or vinyl), electronic equipment, a cell phone, or something else. You will find UV/EB has made an impact on your world,” said Dr. David Biro, project team leader, scientist, energy curables R&D, Sun Chemical and co-chair of RadTech’s Graphic Arts Focus Group.
Despite the economic downturn in the U.S., UV/EB continues to grow steadily. With the creation of the new “hybrid inks” and other new products, along with the development of new applications for energy curing, it is likely that energy-curing products will continue to grow in the future.
Continued Growth in UV
In an otherwise down year for the ink industry, energy cured products have shown growth.
Energy curable (EC) products still comprise a small segment of the overall graphic arts market, according to Mike McGovern, Sun Chemical Ink (GPI) director of sales and marketing, energy curable products.
Within their niches, energy curable products have not been affected by the economic downturn as severely as the overall printing market, Mr. McGovern said, adding that growth has been stronger for some products, such as laminated packaging.
“Energy curing inks are showing better growth that other segments, although the recession has slowed down its growth,” said Brian Templeman, president of Kolorcure Corporation.
|UV capability on an EM280 press. (Photo courtesy of Gallus.)|
“2002 has been a year of market recovery,” said Brett Johnson, market manager, graphic arts at UCB Chemicals. “Consumer confidence rose slightly and general markets such as OPV began to see some growth. Printing inks remained sluggish with the possible exception of flexography. While overall recovery appears to be in progress, a progressive pattern of weakness entered the ink markets and the second half has as a result not been as strong as the first half of 2002. Because the printing industry is a trailing economic indicator, it is not expected that printing ink sales will move to new growth levels until consumer confidence is restored and the financial markets return to some level of stability.”
“2002 was a difficult year for the domestic specialty chemicals industry overall,” said Joe Kosiner, marketing manager, Akzo Nobel Energy Curable Resins, North America. “The energy curable market will likely end the year with 2 percent to 3 percent growth, substantially below the double digit growth rates typically seen for this business through 2000. The market began to slip during 2001 and this increased after Sept. 11.
“This weakness appears to have stabilized and we expect the industry to recover some of its positive momentum to at least a 5 percent growth rate during second half of 2003,” Mr. Kosiner said. “While Akzo Nobel Energy Curable Resins has done well in 2002, we expect 2003 to be an even better year. Of course, much of this is predicated on a stable world economy and readily available raw materials.”
Not all markets for energy cured products grew as rapidly during 2001.
“Some markets were soft, especially electronics and fiber optics,” said Paul Elias, director, specialty products, Sartomer Company. “Inks and other coatings markets were relatively stable. This was the first significant interruption in the continuously rapid growth of UV/EB technology.”
There are many drivers for UV’s growth, including environmental and performance issues.
“Energy-cured products offer environmental, performance and quality benefits unmatched in conventional inks,” said Kathy Marx, vice president, marketing and strategic planning at Flint Ink. “Because the inks have no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), they eliminate emissions problems, and today’s inks require less caution in handling than earlier formulations. The fast turnaround of energy curing allows printers to keep up with today’s fast-paced business environment. Finally, the high gloss and mar-resistance of energy-curing make the chemistry ideal for packaging applications.”
“In a slow moving economy with a reduced number of new marketing campaigns, designers are aiming to get the ‘biggest-bang-per-buck’ by using more color, metallic, and high-impact finishes to attract attention to their products,” said Glenn Webster, Sun Chemical Ink (GPI) manager, UV inks. “This is particularly true in the packaging market and for product campaigns aimed at people with greater disposable incomes. Energy curable products lend themselves ideally to this in markets such as beverage labeling and packaging, and outdoor horticultural bags, where they create both shelf impact and improved process efficiency for converters.”
“Most of the UV ink growth has been seen in the tag and label and packaging arenas,” said Robert Waddington, national sales manager for UVitec Printing Ink. “Consumables using the printed products produced by these manufacturers are demanding increased coverage and high color intensity, which the UV process helps facilitate. The run lengths may have gone down, but the overall ink usage due to increased coverage is up.”
UV in Europe
UV has also made significant strides in Europe.
“There is strong growth in UV/EB in Europe,” said Alex Stevenson, head of Zeller+Gmelin’s GmbH’s printing ink division. “We are now a 99.9 percent producer of UV inks alone – and the technology within ZG is quite simply regarded now as perfectly normal. In fact, when people now mention ‘conventional’ inks to us, we take that to mean UV offset, as opposed to UV flexo or waterless. So, as far as we are concerned, the future growth in the ink market will certainly feature UV. All ink companies who previously didn’t manufacture UV are now ‘on-board.’ People in Europe are now ‘comfortable’ with UV – the ink companies have presented an acceptable face to what was once considered a dangerous technology.”
Mr. Stevenson said that education has been essential in the increasing popularity of energy-cured products.
“Education has helped enormously – lamp and reflector care, and understanding of in-line pre-treatment of polymeric films, although not perfect, is much better these days thanks to to the efforts made by the ink industry to educate the users. I have personally conducted almost 50 seminars in the last 10 years at customers’ premises to allay fears on health and safety, and to stress the importance of adequate lamp and reflector maintenance to curing performance. Now when our customers experience a curing problem, they check the inks last, instead of first – this fundamental fact should not be underestimated.
“Environmental efforts have also helped to make the words ‘radiation curing’ more acceptable, and the increasing use of ‘energy curable’ has finished the job,” Mr. Stevenson said. “Now ‘solvent’ and ‘oil’ are becoming the dirty words of the industry. The price of UV ink is also coming down, and printers can no longer justify their opposition to UV on the grounds of ink costs.”
Mr. Stevenson said that UV will continue to thrive in Europe.
|UV curing equipment. (Photo courtesy of Prime UV Systems.)|
The growth of UV can also be seen in the gain being made in press manufacturing. For example, Gallus manufactures higher-end presses, and Bob Yates, western sales manager for Gallus, said that sales for presses equipped with UV are growing.
“We are selling mostly combination UV flexo and rotary screen presses,” Mr. Yates said, adding that hot foil stamping is another growth segment. “Our customers are willing to spend more to provide high quality, and are opting for combination UV flexo and rotary screen presses. Eighty percent of Gallus presses are UV flexo, and 65 percent to 70 percent of those also have rotary screen.”
Mr. Yates said that the printers who are purchasing Gallus presses equipped with UV flexo and rotary screen are working in segments that require the best possible print quality.
“The markets most of our customers serve are health and beauty products, pharmaceuticals, gourmet food products and wine and spirits,” Mr. Yates said. “Typically, new customers to UV want to get into the higher-end markets, or to take existing work that will print better with UV while not having to worry about drying issues, and also benefiting from reduced waste.”
Worldwide, Mr. Yates sees gains being made by UV flexo.
“In established markets worldwide, the same percentages as the U.S would pertain,” Mr. Yates said. “In emerging markets, such as Russia, China and others, the percentage of water-based versus UV flexo is probably about 50-50.”
Dr. Don Duncan, director of R&D at Wikoff Color and co-chair of RadTech’s Graphic Arts Focus Group, said that press manufacturers are reporting that customers are looking for UV capabilities on new orders as well as retrofitting possibilities.
“It’s so much easier to put on UV lights; I know of several presses that are doing so,” said Dr. Duncan. “For Mark Andy/Comco, at least 90 percent of presses being sold have UV capability, and I think that a vast majority of flexo presses have some kind of UV curing capability.”
“New equipment stimulates growth in our market, and while those sales have slowed somewhat, I feel there is some stimulus now,” Mr. Templeman said. “Walking through Labelexpo, what press did not have UV on it?”
“Customers for new presses are investing wisely and aiming to ‘future-proof’ their machines against early obsolescence,” said Mr. Webster. “It is probably more cost-effective to buy a new press fitted with UV instead of retrofitting older machines. There is the added benefit of improved handling systems on new machines which can enhance the productivity and efficiency possible with energy curable inks coatings and adhesives.”
At Print 01, many companies showcased the “hybrid inks,” which combine conventional and UV chemistries and allow printers to run UV inks on conventional sheetfed presses by installing one or more UV lamps.
“The commercial success of hybrid UV lithography is a growth area,” said Mr. Johnson. “Every major and many minor inks companies now have a hybrid offset line of products.”
Ms. Marx said that hybrid inks continue to grow in the marketplace.
“Hybrid products offer slightly less overall performance than full UV curing, but for printers who want to achieve similar results in-house, with minimal investment, the hybrids are an excellent choice.”
“Hybrid inks have been growing for us,” Dr. Duncan said. “There are several reasons people are using hybrids. The original idea was to UV coat inline without a reduction in gloss or using a double coater with a layer of water-based coatings. Then people stared noticing that the hybrids have a lot of the good properties of UV but don’t need a lot of lights, and companies that were using UV switched to hybrids and turned off some of their lights. There are even people adding lights to oil-based presses.”
Mr. McGovern said this portion of the business is growing at a very nice rate and press manufacturers have begun to design their equipment around this type of technology.
“Sometimes hybrid technology refers to a broader term of combining different technologies to come up with a new process,” McGovern said. “While it doesn’t always end in success, increasingly we are seeing converters willing to explore concepts that utilize different types of printing technology used in new combinations.”
Electron beam curing (EB) continues to be an area that draws interest, particularly in food packaging, where its low odor properties make EB a strong choice. Still, the high cost of equipment remains a significant barrier, which may lead companies to develop combination UV and EB operations.
“There’s a lot more interest being stirred up in EB,” Dr. Duncan said. “More people are thinking about putting EB units at the end of UV flexo to add a higher degree of conversion. The people who are doing this are trying to get into food packaging and are looking at creating low odor products. Another area where EB has potential is laminated flexible packaging using EB curable coatings instead of laminating structures. EB may be able to replace a sizable percentage there. Pet food bags remain a big business. As for EB litho, it is kind of flat as there are not many new presses being sold.”
“The EB market has not grown significantly over the past several years,” Mr. McGovern said. “However, we think innovative applications such as WetFlex might spur new interest and opportunities that will fuel EB’s growth.”
“We’ve seen some growth, particularly for food packaging applications, but with its higher entry costs, EB is showing less growth than UV,” Ms. Marx said.
EB has had similar results in Europe. Tony Bean, Sun Chemical Ink’s (GPI) manager of energy curable paste inks, said that the use of EB has not grown as quickly outside the U.S., as the primary EB market is for offset printing of folding cartons, which he said is somewhat unique to the U.S.
Mr. Stevenson said that EB in Europe is used primarily in food packaging, but UV is making inroads in these areas as well.
“Not much is happening in print in the EB market,” Mr. Stevenson said. “Sensitive food packaging, such as milk cartons, is a good sector for this technology. However, the ‘danger’ element in UV is largely subsiding.”
Growth Areas for UV
Opportunities for UV are varied, ranging from expanding its share of flexo to new applications in ink jet.
“Sun Chemical is seeing interest in investigating other potential uses for energy curable products,” Mr. McGovern said. “If the chemistry and technology can be developed, we may see more innovative applications and brand new markets opening up.”
Mr. Webster added that as the economic outlook improves, demand likely will grow for high-impact packaging and improved efficiencies in package converting. These are areas where energy curable inks, coatings and adhesives could have a major impact, he said.
“Flint Ink is currently running tests of UV on coldset web with interesting results,” Ms. Marx said. “Whether that will materialize as a viable application remains to be seen.”
“Recently, we have seen noticeable growth in UV flexo, the commercialization of UV ink jet, and increased activity in dual cure (thermal/UV) offset inks,” Mr. Elias said.
“We see a drive towards UV/EB litho inks with better printability, continued strong growth in flexo inks, and a very strong interest in UV ink jet ink development,” said John K. Braddock, Akzo Nobel Resins’ technical service manager, UV/EB curing chemicals.
“Clariant has seen continued growth in UV ink use and consequently growth in the raw material used in these inks,” said David Dugan, marketing manager, ink pigments at Clariant. “We fully expect this trend to continue, with faster growth in flexo and even gravure. We are seeing a definite increase in interest in UV flexo. We are seeing interest in pre-dispersed pigment preparations for UV ink systems.”
Flexo is one area where UV’s share will increase as new applications are developed.
“UV flexo will grow at a faster rate in wide web packaging as heat management to prevent substrate distortion is mastered,” Dr. Duncan said. “I think UV has a good story to tell there. UV ink jet is an area we believe is going to be important. There is some interest in wet trapped flexo inks cured with UV or EB. I think that clear coatings in graphic arts have a lot of upside potential. There are a lot of combination presses that have rotary screen, flexo, litho or gravure capabilities that are providing complete printing packages for printers. We’ve seen some people doing waterless UV offset for CDs using other new presses.”
“There is great activity to move formulations forward into flexo inks for packaging, including indirect food contact applications, which requires new developments in all components,” Mr. Bridge said. “There is also a strong trend to move into UV curing ink jet inks, based on UV flexo formulations. These may also bring a return back into better flexo formulations as the monomers and oligomers improve, and may even allow UV gravure. The lowering cost of the formulations also allows expansion into more printing jobs which have been served by conventional inks in the past.”
Mr. Johnson said that ink jet and food packaging applications are areas that appear poised for growth for UV.
“There is a high level of interest in UV ink jet,” Mr. Johnson said. “Testing and development of ink jets inks entered into a commercially viable phase in 2002. There is also more and more focus on food grade energy curable ink applications, such as flexible packaging. Customers are asking for lower odor and lower extractable ink components for energy curable materials. UCB is working toward new materials that can be used in food packaging applications the same is true in Europe.
Ink company officials agree that ink jet and security applications look promising.
“A lot of people are opening their eyes to UV for security applications, and digital is also intriguing,” Mr. Templeman said. “We are dabbling in digital, and we expect to be an active player in that market.”
“There has been a lot of interest from the digital, drop-on-demand type printers who need UV so they can print on difficult substrates,” Mr. Waddington said. “Another benefit is that the UV chemistry and characteristics of the ink are well suited for the print head technology on these machines. Security printers are looking into many new and unique inks which rely heavily on the UV process.”
Challenges to be Met
There are a number of important challenges to be met, beginning with the price of raw materials.
“The performance/price ratio is the highest it has ever been,” Mr. Elias said. “Prices are at historical lows, with raw material prices inching up. Continuing to improve the performance/price ratio will be a significant challenge.”
“The most recent trend or continuing trend in the ink industry is the focus on lowering the overall cost of the ink due to increasing global competition and to the slow economy in many areas of the world,” said Craig Baudendistel, business director, inks for Elementis Specialties. “Margins are being squeezed, and one of our biggest challenges is to increase margins and to grow volume by developing cost effective, value-added products.”
There are also formulation needs that suppliers are working to meet.
“Specifically for UV, the challenges are the continued need to develop litho inks with better printability, flexo inks with faster cure rate for wide web applications and products with better adhesion to difficult substrates like plastics and metals,” Mr. Braddock said. “We have instituted major short and long-term research projects to address all of these needs.”
“The most difficult technical challenge is to develop formulations for inks for indirect contact food packaging,” Mr. Bridge said. “At the same time, we have to maintain a proper balanced approach to product safety issues, based on real data and risk analysis, rather than emotion. To support this we need a greater sense of responsibility in some suppliers.”
Radiation curing technologies are facing regulatory challenges that companies are meeting.
“The general impact of new labeling requirements and regulatory initiatives is a major challenge,” Mr. Johnson said. “As a member of the ACC’s Responsible Care Program, UCB Chemicals works to understand the impact of a variety of regulatory initiatives. When we introduce new products, we identify the labeling requirements and work with our customers to ensure they are also aware of issues.”
Ink companies are developing new products to meet the increased demand for energy-cured inks.
In the last year, Sun Chemical has introduced Hy-Bryte Max hybrid inks and coatings as well as SunBeam LE, an EB coating that is FDA-compliant for direct food contact. In addition, Sun Chemical recently unveiled WetFlex, which uses the company’s wet-trapping UniQure EB and UV flexo inks. These inks eliminate the need for interstation drying on central impression presses.
Also, Sun Chemical has introduced SunSilk Trap Rite UV white screen ink, designed primarily for label printing. Together with Pantone, Sun Chemical also announced a marketing alliance to introduce the benefits of using UV Hexachrome inks in the label market.
Flint Ink’s newest addition to its MatrixCureUV ink series is MatrixCure-NP ink for non-porous applications such as plastic cards, agri-spikes and other applications where good adhesion and scratch resistance are critical.
In the U.S. Zeller+Gmelin has created a variety of new products, including UV inks for plastic cups which the company considers a key opportunity.
“We introduced Mirror Cure at Labelexpo, which offers a printable foil effect as opposed to traditional foil stamping,” Mr. Templeman said.
UVitec Printing Ink recently developed its UVion 39 Series, a universal ink that runs very smoothly on all rotary letterpress equipment, has good cure speed, and is hot stampable and imprintable. UVion 39 has superior formulation properties that allow it to be used on a wide range of paper, film, and foil substrates, thereby improving inventory management, reducing waste and set-up costs. UVitec also introduced its 87 Series of UV flexo inks for narrow web and wide web processes requiring color consistency and fast cure response.
To help in the development of improved inks, suppliers are also working on new products.
“We have a large active program to identify new photoinitiators which have no/low odor, together with low migration,” Mr. Bridge said. “We also are offering training in product safety issues, based on our extensive global experience.”
“We have introduced a number of new products this year,” said Mr. Elias. “We will work towards continued improvement in the performance/price ratio, especially in UV flexo. We will also continue to penetrate niche markets, replacing solvent and waterborne inks.”
“2002 was the first year that Elementis focused on the UV market,” said Mr. Baudendistel. “We have had interest in our new products that are currently under evaluation. We expect substantial growth in the UV area in 2003. Elementis Specialties has been working on several key products for the ink industry that we expect to commercialize in 2003. In addition to product development, Elementis Specialties also provides our customers with value added solutions such as formulating assistance, manufacturing optimization and e-commerce initiatives.”
The Future for UV
Industry leaders are expecting that new applications and improved formulations will continue to drive the growth of energy curing.
“In the last few years we have seen a very strong interest in new UV printing applications – especially UV inks for newspaper inserts and commercial web printing,” said Elinor Midlik, president, Prime UV Systems. “In the next few years we expect to see a dramatic increase in the use of UV curing equipment in both of these applications as well as in UV flexo printing on flexible films and in packaging. This increase is largely due to improved printer/converter awareness of the major benefits the UV process offers; increased productivity, profits and product quality. The decrease in UV ink and chemistry costs will also help push UV equipment sales.”
The energy curable market will continue to grow, according to Mr. McGovern. “Due to the diversification of the EC market segments, it’s difficult to apply an overall growth rate,” Mr. McGovern said. “Some of the largest segments will grow in the 2 percent to 4 percent level annually, while some of the smaller and newer segments will see double digit growth.”
As new opportunities emerge and ink formulators and raw material suppliers work to meet new demands, the radiation curing industry is most likely to continue to be one of the fastest-growing segments in the industry.
RadTech’s Growth Shows Continued Interest in Energy Curing
|The growth in radiation curing can be found in other ways. The attendance at RadTech North America’s show in Indianapolis, IN this past May was equal to Baltimore, MD’s show in 2000. That is in a sharp contrast to how most other conferences fared in the slumping economy. Further, RadTech’s membership is on an upswing. “Our membership is at an all-time high, with almost 900 members, up from 750 last year,” said Gary Cohen, executive director, RadTech International North America. “It’s significant that we have had a lot of end-users join us as members. Almost all of the shows were down this year, many down a lot, and our show was flat. We picked up a lot of new faces.” “RadTech 2002 was a great success on two avenues,” said Dr. David Biro, project team leader, scientist, energy curables R&D, Sun Chemical and co-chair of RadTech’s Graphic Arts Focus Group along with Dr. Duncan. “First, the end-user focus groups were well attended They provided a lot of information about the science behind UV/EB technology. Secondly, the technical conference reinforced the efforts devoted toward this technology and showed application relevant examples. The exhibition floor allowed customers, suppliers, end-users, academics and the curious to mingle at ease while thinking about how their company, their industry and their field can exploit this technology. I think that RadTech 2004 in Charlotte, NC will re-kindle old friendships and foster new long lasting relationships.”|
New UV/EB Products
The following listing includes UV/EB products introduced to the printing ink industry this year.
|Akzo Nobel Resins
500 Jersey Ave.
New Brunswick, NJ 08903
Phone: (732) 220-6869
Fax: (732) 247-8316
• Actilane 411 (CTFA)
Comments: Actilane 411 (CTFA) is a new monofunctional acrylate diluent with very good wetting, good cure rate, and extremely low odor. Primary markets are screen inks, EB & UV OPVs and other specialty areas.
• Actilane RCP4548
Comments: Actilane RCP4548 is a new flexo ink grind vehicle with excellent broad based pigment wetting, low viscosity and excellent cure rate. Specifically designed for flexo inks, but can be utilized for screen ink tint bases and letterpress inks.
• Actilane 715
Comments: Actilane 715 is a monoacrylate functional amine synergist with high amine value. It has excellent pigment bleed, good flexibility, low color and excellent cure rate.
• Actilane 540
Comments: Actilane 540 is a very fast cure rate polyester acrylate for offset ink applications. Excellent pigment wetting, good transfer properties and water balance make it extremely effective in litho inks.
540 White Plains Rd.
Tarrytown, NY 10591-9005
Phone: (914) 785-2000
Fax: (914) 785-4533
• Ciba Irgacure 819 DW
Comments: Ciba Irgacure 819 DW is a water dispersion of the popular highly effective bisacylphosphine oxide initiator, Ciba Irgacure 819, suitable for pigmented systems, including white inks. Irgacure 819 is a powerful photoinitiator that offers unique attributes, including long wavelength absorption and photobleachability for faster curing and higher conversion.
• Ciba Irgacure 250
Comments: Ciba Irgacure 250 is a new iodonium salt photoinitiator for cationic cure UV systems, removing many of the problems of previous initiators. Benefits for the user include high value in use, as the product is active at low concentrations and can be combined with a photosensitizer; further benefits of Irgacure 250 are the high line speeds that can be attained, even in highly pigmented applications, and the absence of hazardous cleavage products. Irgacure 250 has high reactivity and is readily sensitized via electron transfer reaction. It ensures low post-cure color, even after postbake at higher temperatures, contains no heavy metal and has no unsubstituted aryl ring.
• Ciba Irgacure 907FF
Comments: Ciba Irgacure 907FF is a free flowing, lower dusting form of the workhorse of colored ink photoinitiators, Ciba Irgacure 907.
• Ciba Irgacure 1300
Comments: Ciba Irgacure 1300 is a blend of Ciba Irgacure 369, and Ciba® Irgacure 651, bringing an easy solution to the curing of both pigmented offset and flexo inks.
• CGI 113
Comments: CGI 113 is an extremely effective photoinitiator for high performance offset UV inks, with low odor and improved solubility.
500 Washington St.
Coventry, RI 02816
Phone: (800) 441-4414
Fax: (401) 823-2700
• Pigments for UV Curing Inks brochure
Comments: Clariant has just completed an evaluation of its pigments in UV curing offset and flexo inks. This has led to the publication of its latest brochure, Pigments for UV Curing Inks.
• Sandosperse UV
Comments: Clariant plans to soon a line of pigment preparations suitable for use in both UV screen and flexo inks under the brand name Sandosperse UV.
P.O. Box 700
Hightstown, NJ 08520
Phone: (609) 443-2002
Fax: (609) 443-2207
• Slip-Ayd‚ 3013 polyethylene dispersion
Comments: Slip-Ayd‚ 3013 is a 25% polyethylene dispersion in UV oligomer. When incorporated into an ink or OPV, this new technology wax does not separate or settle as typically seen with other waxes in UV systems. Slip-Ayd, 3013 also improves slip and provides block and abrasion resistance.
• Baragel‚ 3000 rheological additive
Comments: Baragel‚ 3000 is a highly efficient stable viscosity builder that reduces misting in UV/EB inks. Baragel‚ 3000 also improves print sharpness and controls penetration.
• Thixatrol, Plus rheological additive
Comments: Thixatrol, Plus is an organic rheological additive designed for UV screen ink applications. Thixatrol, Plus improves print quality by providing thixotropic rheology.
Sartomer Company, Inc.
502 Thomas Jones Way
Exton, PA 19341
Phone: (610) 363-4100;
Fax: (610) 363-4140
• CN2270, CN2271, CN2276 and CN2278 polyester acrylate oligomers
Comments: Sartomer has introduced the CN2270, CN2271, CN2276 and CN2278 polyester acrylate oligomers for UV flexo. The CN2270 and CN2271 are low viscosity materials with good pigment wetting that can be used as either the grinding vehicle or as part of the letdown. CN2276 offers excellent wetting for TiO2 systems, but can also be used as a letdown in systems where thixotropy is an issue. The CN2278 is Sartomer’s newest polyester acrylate oligomer designed for making highly pigmented bases for the flexo market.
Comments: For the offset lamination market, Sartomer has introduced CN750, which has has excellent adhesion to plastic films used in lamination, as well as good lithographic performance.
• CN2300 and CN2301
Comments: Sartomer has introduced the CN2300 and CN2301 for the infant UV ink jet market. These materials combine very fast cure speed with low shrinkage and, most importantly, low viscosity.
2000 Lake Park Dr.
Smyrna, GA 30080
Phone: (800) 433-2873
Fax: (770) 434-8314
• ViaJet 100
Comments: ViaJet 100 is a 100% solids pigment grinding vehicle designed specifically for use with bead or mead type mills for making pigment preparations to be used in making “drop-on-demand” UV ink jet ink.
• ViaJet 400
Comments: ViaJet 400 is a 100% solids letdown vehicle for letting down pigments concentrates developed with ViaJet 100 for the production of UV ink jet inks.
• ViaScreen 515
Comments: ViaScreen 515 is a new general purpose ink vehicle for the production of energy curable screen printing inks that are used on difficult to adhere to substrates.
• ViaScreen 501
Comments: ViaScreen 501 is a new screen printing ink vehicle specifically designed as the main vehicle component for screen inks printing on non-corona treated plastic substrates.
• ViaSet 402, ViaSet 403 and ViaSet 421
Comments: ViaSet 402, ViaSet 403 and ViaSet 421 are new “free flow” ink vehicles for lithographic inks. These free-flow vehicles are used either as the main resin system in a lithographic ink or are used to modify the tack, flow and rheology of others vehicle systems such as ViaSet 400 and ViaSet 420 gelled lithographic binders.
• ViaFlex 405
Comments: The newest addition to the line of ViaFlex products, ViaFlex 405 is a low viscosity letdown vehicle for high performance UV flexographic inks.
• ViaCure LX and ViaCure DX
Comments: ViaCure LX and ViaCure DX are new, unique liquid photoinitiator systems that contain no monomer or other diluent. They are 100% pure photoinitiator patent-pending blends. LX is designed for use with white or light colored inks and DX is designed for use with dark colored inks.