UV low energy and UV LED curing technologies represent the most significant development in energy curing for years. Each technology demands an evolutionary change in ink chemistry. The Ultraking XCURA and Ultraking XCURA LED are examples of Flint Group’s continuous commitment to providing innovative solutions to new trends in the printing industry. Regardless of which new curing technology the converter chooses, Flint Group has the solution with the Ultraking XCURA family of products.
Flint Group, in collaboration with leading OEMs and lamp manufacturers, has developed, and is now launching, a full range of low energy UV and UV LED curing inks for sheetfed applications: Ultraking XCURA and Ultraking XCURA LED.
“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,” said Rodney Balmer, director of global research and product development at Flint Group. “The need for multiple UV lamps is not necessary, thus reducing operating costs for the printer.”
Ultraking XCURA is specifically formulated to meet the curing challenges of low energy UV technology. A unique key feature of XCURA is that one product will print on certain non-porous substrates, as well as standard coated and uncoated substrates – a real winner when printers need quality and flexibility on tight schedules.
Low energy UV utilises modified traditional UV technology to provide significant ecological and economical advantages to traditional UV. By eliminating or filtering out wavelengths below 290nm, no ozone is created. Thus, there is no need for the installation of expensive, space consuming exhaust systems. This makes low energy UV highly attractive to fast turnaround conventional printers, allowing them to save on energy costs by eliminating infra-red and warm air drying, while gaining immediate drying, which saves 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 Tyler Newsom, product manager sheetfed inks North America. “ 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.”
Ultraking XCURA LED utilizes specially selected materials to match the narrow and targeted wavelength (395nm) that is typical for high power UV LED lamp output. UV LED lamp technology utilizes high power light that emits diode technology, which requires significantly less energy to operate than traditional UV. This results in as much as 40% reduction in energy costs. Because of the targeted wavelength at 395nm, both ozone and heat generation are eliminated, resulting in a safer working environment and ability to print heat sensitive substrates. UV LED offers additional advantages over traditional UV, such as instant on/off, significantly longer lamp life (20,000 hours v. 2,000) and low maintenance.
“The cost advantages of UV LED technology over traditional UV paired with the instant drying advantages of energy curing really open the door for conventional commercial printers to adopt this technology,” Newsom added. “Ultraking XCURA LED provides the ink solution for the perfect balance of press stability and cure speed.”
Ultraking XCURA and Ultraking XCURA LED products have 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 12647-1 standards. Ultraking XCURA and Ultraking XCURA LED are commercially available now.