Flint Group in collaboration with leading OEMs and lamp manufacturers has developed and is now launching a full range of low energy UV curing highly reactive inks and coatings under the name Ultraking XCURA. One of the unique key features of XCURA is that one product will print on certain non-porous, as well as standard coated and uncoated substrates - a real winner where printers need quality and flexibility on tight schedules.
XCURA products have a very high color strength, display excellent ink/water stability and require lower levels of energy to operate. They also comply with ISO 2846-1 and are suitable for printing to ISO 12647-2 standard. Ultraking XCURA inks and varnishes are available now.
Considerable ecological advantages are derived from the new low energy lamp technology, not least of which is that the lamps filter out or eliminate wavelengths below 290 nm. Consequently there is no ozone created, hence the need for exhaust is completely removed. In addition heat is controlled due to unique lamp design and control technology.
Rod Balmer, director of global research and product development, Flint Group, explains some of the challenges of developing inks and coatings to operate under these new parameters,
"These inks are formulated using a selection of photoinitiators which absorb at the higher end of the spectrum and are optimised for high speed curing,” Mr. Balmer said. “These inks are highly reactive, the need for multiple UV lamps is not necessary, thus reducing operating costs for the printer."
Richard Wilson, UV product management director, Flint Group, believes XCURA will be attractive to the fast turnaround conventional printers who can save energy costs by eliminating infra-red drying and warm air drying for water based coatings, turning around work in a matter of minutes, saving on work-in-progress and improving delivery times.
"As commercial printers are pushed to offer shorter and shorter lead times, work-in-progress must be kept to a minimum and jobs have to be turned-around for next day delivery,” said Wilson. “Low energy UV curing will allow the conventional commercial printer to manufacture to these new targets. We can see the web-to print sector in particular being early adopters of this technology because of the dramatic reduction in manufacturing time and the lower entry cost than traditional UV."