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The Dilemma of UV-cured Inks vs The Solvent-Based Type

The Dilemma of UV-cured Inks vs The Solvent-Based Type

2018-07-27T17:29:01+00:00 19 July 2018|

Groundbreaking ink technologies created during the last few decades gave birth to new printing advancements, changing the industry for good. Nowadays, there are numerous types of inks, each presentation with a different purpose for a variety of budgets, helping bring the best performance possible in each drop.

The good part of these developments is that they continually give way to more effective formulas for the industry like the UV curable ink. while also improving the performance of existing products; such is the case of solvent based ink.

Of course, each of them has their own use and applicabilities depending on the customer’s needs. In this article, we speak about what is so different about each of these inks and what kind of impact they make in the final printing result to help you decide which one is the best choice.

Benefits and disadvantages of UV Curable Ink

In the case of UV curable inks, the printing industry has gone through many positive changes thanks to ultraviolet technology for almost 30 years now. This type of ink is preferred among many companies on the planet for the fact that it’s quicker to dry, it has higher durability and it also sticks to most substrates.

As a matter of fact, a particularity of UV curable inks is that they don’t dry out with ventilation. Their composition is quite different from solvent inks, thus, as their name says it, only exposure to UV radiation can cause the substance to crystallize. Therefore, and as long as there are no spillings, you have the possibility to use every single drop of the cartridge.

Plus, for that same reason, you save working time since the staff doesn’t need to constantly clean printers where there’s still ink left inside the cells, simply because it won’t dry unless it goes through ultraviolet curing.

Additionally, UV curable inks have an inferior environmental impact over other types, they are more resistant to deterioration, have better opacity properties, fine contrast, an elegant lacquer and due to its chemical quality, no thickness or stickiness will persist during press run.

However, working with UV-cured ink needs caution at the moment of manipulation and training for workers to understand the risks that utilizing this type of ink can carry. Since it doesn’t dry but with UV light, a spilling in the work area can quickly turn into a big mess and take long hours to clean up, consuming valuable working time and paralyzing workflow.

Another aspect to consider is that UV curable inks irritate skin when making skin contact, thus, workers must wear proper apparel in order to work with it.

As of Solvent Based Ink

In comparison, solvent based inks have much less budget aggressive and at the same time deliver good quality printing. On the other hand, they are composed of volatile organic compounds that are hazardous to the olfactory sense. Still, getting rid of these compounds is possible by using carbon filters or installing ducts to vent the air.

Furthermore, solvent-based inkjet ink has the capacity to adhere to numerous surfaces and its drying time can be quickened through heat.

Nonetheless, part of the solvent of solvent based ink must be removed after it’s already been transferred, which makes it a more challenging and time-consuming process. What’s more, disposing can be expensive and difficult; it’s composed of solvents that are harmful to the planet, reason for which its users need to be careful with disposal procedures due to all the environmental laws.

In addition to the previous, solvent inks must go through drying procedures that take time, ultimately reducing the ink’s effectiveness and worth in down to 40% of its total volume.

It is completely up to each company which type of ink comes best for their individual applications. UV curable ink is the most efficient one though it needs to be carefully worked with; plus, turning to this option can be expensive at first. Still, we offer a way to help our clients save money and conserve the environment by joining our Recycling Program for free.

In the case of solvent based ink the expenses are far lower and you can still get good quality, reliable printing on a variety of substrates; although the disposing process and its VOCs can represent further investment.