UV Ink : A Beginner's Guide
Posted by InXave Team on
What is UV Ink?
First introduced in the early 1970s, UV (Ultra Violet) Ink gained popularity in the early 2000s with most print shops.
The name is derived from the use of Ultraviolet Rays to instantly cure and dry the ink on the print substrate. UV ink consists of liquid polymer that forms an extremely resilient hard film when exposed to UV Light.
It is known to provide intense colors due to its components consisting mostly of pigment compared to solvent ink.
What are the Best Media for UV Ink?
UV inks can be printed on various types of media.
This may include but is not limited to : coated/uncoated, rigid/flexible, paper/non-paper substrates.
examples include :vinyl, wood as well as non-absorbing materials such as metal, acrylic and glass.
UV Ink Facts
Most types have good resistance to fading during indoor application.
Some UV Ink types are resistant to scratches and scuffs during finishing and transportation.
They are outdoor durable and can last up to 2 years without lamination or protective clearcoats. These finishing procedures when added extend the life of UV prints by 3-5 years.
Relatively fast drying time as the ink dries instantly once cured on the substrate. This allows for faster turnaround times.
Does not require heat or airdrying unlike aqueous inks since the Ink is cured by UV exposure. As a result, it more suitable for substrates that are sensitive to heat.
UV Inks do not contain volatile chemicals .This allows flexibility for print environment location and ventilation systems are not required.
Seen as an “Eco-friendly” option since it emits trace amounts of Volatile organic compounds (VOC) into the environment and is also nontoxic and nonflammable.
- Seen as a more economical choice as it contains more pigment compared to solvent ink types.
Uncured UV inks and UV-curing units may pose some risks to workers and require adequate storage and protection measures.
The main disadvantage of using UV inks and curing is seen in relation to the food packaging industry where the risk of ink components coming in contact with foodstuff causes great concern.
Common questions about UV Ink
Q: Is UV Ink Safe?
A: UV Ink is generally safe when in its cured form. It usually does not contain volatile solvents and is not poisonous. If uncured however, it can be harmful to the human body. Proper ventilation is required along with proper storage and handling procedures to prevent contact with the skin and respiratory organs.
Q: Is UV Ink Toxic?
A: UV Ink is toxic when uncured and non-toxic when in its cured form.as it does not contain volatile solvents however it is suggested that a ventilation system be utilized as some persons may be affected by the fumes.
Q: Is UV Ink Recyclable?
A: Yes, UV Ink can be recycled.
Q: Is UV Ink Biodegradable?
A: UV Ink is not biodegradable. Micro-organisms cannot break down the components in UV Ink. Most biodegradable inks are made with vegetable based or soy-based ink while UV Ink is mainly acrylic monomer.
Q: Is UV Ink Food Safe?
A: UV ink is considered food safe but only in its cured form. UV Ink printing does not contain harmful solvents that need to be evaporated away and instead forms a solid polymer bond instantly once cured that is non-toxic. UV inks are quite commonly used in food packaging and non-direct food contact applications.
Q: How long does UV Ink Last? Does UV Ink Expire?
A:Cured UV ink prints have an outdoor durability of 2 years at most without fading and to 5-7 years depending on the type of clear coat or lamination materials. UV ink does expire. Ink in gallon containers will last about 12-15 months from date of manufacture if stored correctly. We recommend that you discontinue use of expired inks well past the expiration dates listed on the packaging as the components of the ink will affect the overall print ability and print quality.
Q: How to remove UV Ink?
Skin-Wash with copious amounts of cool water then use soap and water or skin cleansing compounds to remove ink.
Clothing-Depending on the type of clothing it should be laundered/dry cleaned with hot water or detergent separately from other garments or discarded entirely.
Q: How to dispose of UV Ink
A: Dispose wasted ink through an industrial waste disposal contractor. NEVER dispose your waste in your local sewage or rivers.
Q: Where can I buy UV Ink
A: Currently InXave.com provides high quality Large Format UV inks made in the USA that are compatible with most popular OEM printer ink brands at the best prices. Check us out today!
Q: How much does UV Ink cost
A: UV ink prices tend to range between $120-$700 USD per liter. InXave.com provides more economical UV ink options for print shop owners looking to save on Ink starting at just $59.99 USD.
Have any burning ink questions?
Let us know in the comments below and our Ink experts at InXave.com will answer them
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