DuPont Packaging Graphics and Sun Chemical have joined forces to create a new standard in quality and environmentally smart flexographic printing by bringing together Sun Chemical’s patented WetFlex wet-on-wet flexographic printing process with its patented UniQure electron-beam cured inks and DuPont Cyrel FAST technology.
The joint work was focused on linking the WetFlex printing process with the DuPont Cyrel photopolymer plate technology and resulted in obtaining previously unachievable levels of print graphics while providing the market with a solvent-free process that can contribute to sustainability improvements in printing and packaging.
R&D teams from both companies worked together to determine the optimal Cyrel photopolymer printing plates for the WetFlex™ process. The Cyrel FAST plates outperform all Cyrel solvent plates in terms of print quality and staying clean on press. The combination of the WetFlex process and Cyrel FAST produces some of the highest print quality graphics ever seen.
“DuPont and Sun Chemical both are focused on innovations in printing that make a real difference to customers,” said Lisa DiGate, global business director, DuPont Packaging Graphics. “We are very excited about continuing to work closely to push the boundaries of current flexographic printing technology to improve quality and productivity as well as environmental sustainability.”
DuPont introduced Cyrel FAST Digital, the first solvent-free platemaking process for flexographic printing and brought to market a system that lowers energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and eliminates the impact solvents have on the waste stream. The rapid access platemaking system reduces total plate production time to less than one hour by eliminating the washout and drying steps.
“Working with DuPont to optimize the results of the WetFlex printing process helps flexography grow its position as the process of choice around the world for high-quality, high-impact packaging,” said Richard Pettifor, president, North America Packaging, Sun Chemical. “With two of the most innovative companies in the packaging market working to build end-to-end solutions for environmentally sustainable flexo processes—all while maintaining and exceeding the quality that brand owners demand from their printers—we can resolve the quality-versus-green conundrum for our industry.”
The patented UniQure inks used in the WetFlex printing process offers the flexo industry an ink system based on both water-based and energy curable chemistry—bringing users all of the universality, printability, and press speed advantages they expect from solvent-based inks, but without solvents’ drawbacks. Using the WetFlex process, printers no longer need to monitor VOCs or compensate for viscosity, solvent losses and dot fidelity gains—all while capitalizing on the advantages of electron-beam curing. UniQure is a low odor, high-performing ink system that makes wet trapping possible, advancing print fidelity in the flexo process to levels comparable to gravure.