Lead in low migration
At Labelexpo 2007, Sun Chemical launched “one of the world’s first low migration UV curing inks for high quality narrow web flexo printing”. Advances in technology are said to have allowed Solarflex LM to overcome the barriers traditionally associated with low migration UV flexo printing. There is no loss of running speed, on-press capability or print finishing, and cure speeds and mechanical resistance are equal to other UV flexo printing inks, the company states.
Solarflex LM uses Sun’s M-Cure polymeric photoinitiators, which become locked into the cured ink film and so prevent migration. They are odour and taste neutral and do not use Benzophenone or ITX.
Jonathan Sexton, business manager – narrow web labels, says: “Flexible packaging has traditionally been printed using solvent gravure inks. With the growing requirement for shorter print runs, narrow web UV flexo is becoming a viable solution for flexible packaging printing.
“Solarflex LM meets the needs of markets such as sensitive food and pharmaceutical packaging, for which high quality print and low migration potential are so important. With these inks, we believe we have one of the highest performance ink and coatings systems available for UV printing of flexible packaging.”
Sun Chemical has also entered into an exclusive partnership with SA Labels to supply inks, adhesives and coatings for its “world first” Ultraflex press, which uses all aspects of print technology, including screen, gravure, flexo or a combination of these to deliver multiple decorative effects such as foils, tactile finishes and varnishes across a wide range of pressure sensitive substrates and flexible packaging materials.
Ultraflex will be available throughout Europe exclusively from SA Labels from June, 2008.
Specially suited to shrink
Opaque White is the latest development in UV free radical technology in the Flexocure XS series from XSYS Print Solutions, for use on shrink sleeves with no limitation in shrink. Said to provide excellent flexibility, adhesion and printability, it is designed to provide more than 70 per cent shrink.
Says Niklas Olsson, global brand manager of XSYS: “As most shrink sleeves are reversed printed transparent films, there are high demands on the opaque white as final ink down. Based on our experience with developing extreme opaque white UV flexo inks – the Flexocure Ivory concept – we have taken some ideas from this research, modified and synthesized it together with the focused development work in UV free radical for shrink. The result is an outstanding improvement in the UV flexo for shrink market.”
Flexocure XS Opaque White is said to have excellent adhesion and to suit a wide range of films. Excellent printability combined with very good flowout, excellent opacity and whiteness are also claimed. A very low coefficient of friction value “delivers sleeves with the high slip characteristics needed for high speed shrink/bottling lines.”
Ready-to-use metallic silver screen ink
Ciba claims that its new Xymara Quicksilver SF-02 ready-to-use flatbed screen printing ink offers the best all-round combination of pinhole-free mirror effect, adhesion and print performance. Suitable for a wide variety of plastics substrates, the new ink is said to provide an economic alternative to foil blocking and film metallization.
Xymara Quicksilver SF-02 is used to produce ultra shiny decorative pinhole free mirror effects on a wide range of transparent plastics substrates. Applications include high quality packaging and labels for perfumes, fashion wear and luxury beverages.
Chinese ink maker achieves Xaar approval
Xaar has approved Chinese manufacturer Shiny Color’s SC-X128 range of solvent inks for use with its Xaar 128 printheads. To receive Xaar ‘Approved’ status, the ink passed a range of tests including materials compatibility, printhead lifetime, print performance and extended reliability.
Shiny Colour is one of only two ink manufacturers in China to achieve Xaar approved status on solvent inks.
Dr Jill Woods, ink product manager at Xaar explains: “It’s important that the Chinese market can source quality ink from approved suppliers with the confidence that it will provide the highest performance. Low quality, third party, unapproved inks cause considerable problems, including blockage and failure of printhead components which in turn produces low quality results and expensive machine downtime.”
Make your choice
Specialist in UV and energy curable inks and varnishes Zeller+Gmelin has extended its range for labels and packaging with four new products.
The Uvaflex low migration UV flexo ink series is offered for the printing of food packaging and labels. Esalux is a new generation of EB curable offset printing inks designed to give the lowest possible taint, odour and migration properties when printed on flexible packaging for food and sensitive products. The Labelcure U5 series offers a letterpress and offset ink especially developed for film label printing. Uvaflex FW/FT is a new range of water based flexo inks for a diverse rate of applications including labels and packaging of paper, thermal paper, carton and film.
Interact is a range of special effect packaging inks introduced by Zeller+Gmelin subsidiary Intercolor. The range includes visual effects for promotional and security printing, such as pearlescent inks, bright metallic effects and fluorescent inks through to functional systems with tactile and texture lacquers. There is also a range of fragrance coatings and inks which react to light or temperature.