The hottest perspective on the European uveb ink M

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Perspective of the European uv/eb ink market

in recent years, the demand for energy curing ink and varnish in Europe has increased, especially in the field of packaging and printing. The application of uv/eb ink has strengthened the brand image of packaging. But at present, energy curing ink only accounts for less than 10% of the whole ink market. In addition to offset printing and narrow flexographic printing market, some deficiencies of uv/eb ink limit its development in other aspects. According to the survey report of Pira consulting company in the UK, in the European packaging market where experimental data files can be saved in the way of access, uv/eb ink and varnish account for 65% of the total offset printing market share, which is also equivalent to half of the uv/eb ink and varnish consumption in the packaging industry. 80% - 90% of UV flexographic printing inks are used for packaging printing, most of which are used for narrow label printing. In other printing methods such as gravure printing, digital printing and silk printing, uv/eb inks only account for a small market. Discuss their chemical mechanism share. However, with the progress of technology, especially the gradual solution of adhesion problems, the application of uv/eb inks in these fields is developing steadily

problems and Countermeasures

uv/eb ink continues to expand to new printing fields. However, this expansion poses a series of problems not only for ink manufacturers, but also for manufacturers of equipment and chemical reagents (such as surface modifiers), such as the existence of pungent odor, weak attachment to the substrate, and inability to adapt to high-speed printing. Of course, the most important thing is the cost

since the commercialization of UV ink in the 1970s, these problems have restricted the development of UV ink. Recently, EU legislation restricts the use of volatile organic solvents (VOC), and water-based inks are regarded as the best product to solve the volatility problem. However, practice has proved that water-based ink did not achieve the desired effect of printers. During this period, the manufacturers of ink, equipment and auxiliary products are trying their best to solve the shortage of uv/eb ink, hoping to improve the curing speed of energy curing ink and reduce its cost

at present, the biggest technical problem of energy curing ink should be the curing in high-speed printing and the adhesion strength to the substrate

high molecular weight inks are difficult to shrink under UV light, which is the main reason for low adhesion. The higher the molecular weight of the ink (usually acrylic resin) can withstand the higher temperature, which is beneficial to the curing process. But because printers will choose those low viscosity inks for high-speed printing, they don't want to launch these high viscosity inks

currently available methods to improve adhesion have certain defects. For example, the added solvent cannot be well integrated with uv/eb inks, and printers must increase investment to control solvent volatilization in order to comply with EU VOC laws

ink manufacturers and chemical companies have also been working hard to develop surface modifiers to make UV inks better adhere to the substrate surface. Ciba company has proposed a method to increase the surface tension of the substrate. The photoinitiator is implanted into the polymer surface. When UV light is irradiated, the photoinitiator reacts to form a connection between the ink and the polymer surface

sikebai company has also developed dual bond double chain ink, which contains isocyanate prepolymer, which reacts chemically under UV light and becomes a part of the substrate. In addition, the Italian Nanotec scientific research laboratory has developed a aerosol system, which contains gases, solvents, liquids and solids, and can form nanoscale thin layers on the surface of materials. Different from the UV curing method, the shrinkage of this thin layer is very low. The aerosol system can be sprayed through a nozzle or partially coated with a screen printing plate. For the corona treated plastic substrates such as PE, PP and pet, a multifunctional polymer can be added to the aerosol system to adjust. Experts from Nanotec laboratory said that in order to better adapt to the printing speed of more than 200 meters/minute, the aerosol system still needs to be improved in many places to meet the current requirements of packaging and printing for speed

static electricity is another headache in UV printing. As a professional company of static electricity control technology, German ELTEX company has developed a system to solve the static electricity problem in uv/eb printing. By reducing the use of photoinitiators and reducing the inhibition of oxygen on the curing process, this system achieves the purpose of improving the efficiency of sheet fed and web UV offset printing and reducing the cost. The innovation of this technology is that the content of photoinitiator in its UV system is greatly reduced. The content of photoinitiator in most UV systems is 1% - 3%, while the content of photoinitiator in the improved UV system is only 10% of that in other systems

the company also extended the application of this technology to gravure printing. The magazine cover can be online polished with UV varnish in gravure printing, and the polishing speed can adapt to the printing speed of 420 meters/minute or 25000 sheets/hour. Energy curing inks also show an increasing trend in the field of publishing and printing, because magazines and rosters, especially their cover printing, have higher and higher requirements for gloss

eltex's sales director recently told the European gravure Association (ERA) that this technology is used in packaging printing and other fields, which improves the performance of UV ink in inert gas environment. This technology is particularly popular in gravure printing, because important customers want printers to use UV technology to improve the visual effect of packaging

opportunities and prospects

uv ink was initially very limited in the field of digital printing, but with the progress of science and technology, this situation has been improved, and energy curing ink has been more and more widely used in the field of inkjet printing

sericol has developed UV ink for inkjet printing, which can be printed on paper, paperboard and some polymers such as PVC, PC, PP and PE. One of the advantages of using UV ink in digital printing is that UV ink will not solidify before UV radiation, so it will not block the nozzle and prolong the service life of the nozzle. The disadvantage is that it takes at least one day for the ink layer to cure completely, which reduces the production efficiency. Moreover, the digital printing market is determined by the equipment manufacturers, which leaves a relatively small development space for UV ink and other inks compared with Shanxi, which has a high coal output

the equipment manufacturers of silk printing have launched a new silk plate system, which ensures the UV printing effect and can print exquisite four-color images on cd/dvd discs. The printing of cd/dvd discs with UV printing ink has made continuous progress. Energy curing ink has accounted for more than a quarter of the whole printing ink, and has maintained an annual growth of 5% - 10%

the most promising field of energy curing ink should be the medium web flexographic printing market. At present, the ocean freight from Brazil to China is $9.285/ton. In the future, uv/eb ink will occupy a dominant position in this field as in the narrow web flexographic printing market. In order to meet this demand, a German flexographic printer manufacturer has equipped UV curing devices on its medium web flexographic printers, while only 10% of its medium web flexographic printers were equipped with UV curing devices five years ago. This new type of medium web flexographic printing machine is equipped with an electronic control motor, which can well control the temperature and can be used to print PE film

at present, uv/eb ink and water-based ink are the two most environmentally friendly inks with the fastest development momentum. Uv/eb ink has many advantages over water-based ink, especially good high temperature resistance, which has potential advantages in composite printing. With the solution of uv/eb ink adhesion and other problems, it is bound to usher in a bright future

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