Ultraviolet Ink Technology from Theory to Practical Extension (1)

Since the 1970s, UV-curable inks and coatings have been used in commercial printing processes, but this technology can be traced back to the early 20th century. In fact, scientists have long known that UV radiation can promote chemical reactions. For example, the success of silver halide photography depends on its role.

The early UV ink formulations used unstable raw chemicals or compounds instead of the composite processed multi-functional materials we use today. Despite this, these early formulations still promoted suppliers of printing inks and raw materials to develop better and more comprehensive UV ink solutions.

In the past 20 years, especially in the past ten years, ink companies have devoted great enthusiasm to this technology. As a result, people can now use high-speed inks on a variety of substrates. This type of ink can stay outdoors for a long time without losing its inherent tackiness, whether it is stretched, deformed, or otherwise manipulated. Color expressiveness or other physical and chemical properties.

This article will examine the development of UV technology, mainly to see its impact on the printing industry's internal and external, for example, to promote the formation of ink companies and UV technology in POP displays, automated components, packaging and container production, CD And applications such as DVD.

Science and history

Our planet rotates around the sun. In turn, the sun brings life to the earth. In fact, this is mainly due to the ability of organisms on Earth to convert solar radiant energy into fuel or use this energy to promote biological or chemical reactions. The development of physics is to use things learned from nature to provide solutions to various problems. The same is true of the use of ultraviolet energy. Scientists already know how to use ultraviolet radiation to catalyze or promote the occurrence of chemical reactions, and how to use it for raw material production.

Ultraviolet light energy is also used in the medical field to treat diseases. Ultraviolet light also often helps judges conduct criminal investigations. Because they know that chemical reagents will react or be activated when exposed to ultraviolet light, either where they are not detected by normal lighting equipment or where they are not.

The reason why ultraviolet light energy is used in so many fields is mainly because of its ability to act quickly. The energy of ultraviolet light is so great that it requires only a few moments to cause rapid and permanent changes. Its characteristics are also used in the surface coating industry. The surface coating industry was very active in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and is considered to be a substitute for solvent-based coating and two-component coating that are subject to environmental protection laws.

Although today's UV coating materials contain ingredients and materials specifically designed for UV curing, earlier ink formulations did not. They have very few optional materials, and the stability, toxicity, and use of these materials have yet to be improved. From these perspectives, the progress and development of UV coating is surprising. Nevertheless, there are other factors that are accelerating the development of this technology and people's acceptance of it. Let us now begin to examine these influencing factors.

External influence

The history of scientific development is inseparable from good ideas and beliefs. That is the strong desire for knowledge that is not in the real world. The road from a laboratory to a business success is tortuous, and the reasons for failure are also diverse, but they are usually caused by the eagerness to come up with ideas - the world has not yet prepared for accepting fresh ideas.

UV-cured inks have also suffered the same fate, but some progress has increased the chance of successful UV inks. As mentioned earlier, the volatilization of solvents and the increase of VOC levels have caused the mind of environmentalists. The strong need to reduce the volatilization of solvents has prompted scientists to start looking for alternatives to solvent-based coatings.

In addition to the impact on the environment, other business factors have also contributed to the development of this technology. The most famous is the development of multi-functional printing equipment - especially multicolor inline printing presses.

The development of UV-curable screen printing inks has encouraged printer manufacturers' new designs for on-line printing presses. Lithographic printing presses, due to offset printing inks, have dominated the field of halftone color printing, and have developed at a very fast pace.

Screen printing inks have been limited by the printing process and have developed slowly. Screen printing has not been affected by the harsh economic environment, but the lack of high-speed printing capabilities has limited its development. The progress of the existing cured inks is that color inks, especially halftone color inks, can be continuously printed at a speed previously unknown.

Like the development of any major technology, the development of UV light and device technology is also in response to the need for printers to replace existing solvent-based and oil-based inks with UV technology and snowballs entering the POP and exhibition image markets. The effect begins. This demand has stimulated the development of raw materials by suppliers of monomers and polymers, and suppliers of traditional components have also joined in, such as suppliers of pigments, silica gel and fillers, and they are still trying to develop some Special materials for UV inks to improve ink performance and increase its stability and durability.

Everyone's common efforts have promoted the development of raw materials, inks and equipment technologies. The formation of ink has become a supplier, the process of mutual understanding and communication between developers rather than a simple linearization before.

The final winners are of course printing houses, and these initiatives and advancements have given them the ability to expand and increase customer reach. Screen printing with accurate and high-speed printing capabilities has become a more competitive approach than other printing technologies.

After experiencing some initial mistakes and a series of twists and turns, ink companies that believe in UV ink technology and began investing in this technology in the early 1980s have finally produced commercial requirements to meet screen printing. Ink. Those early formulations often encountered many problems, such as the long-term ink and the inconsistency of adhesion on the substrate. In addition, health and safety are also issues that new types of monomers and polymers face. Despite this, in addition to these technical issues, the development and improvement of UV ink technology continues.

(to be continued)

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