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Ink Evolves for LED


By Cassandra Balentine


Part 2 of 2


Print technologies consistently evolve to deliver more versatility, durability, and efficiency. One example of innovation is the adoption of UV LED lamps within the UV inkjet segment.


In part one of this two part series on UV LED inks, we discussed several advancements to UV inks for use in UV LED printers. Additionally, we outlined the benefits print providers experience when moving from traditional UV to UV LED.


This article highlights several UV LED ink sets.


OEM Inks

Many printer manufacturers recommend their own inks for use in their systems. Here, we look at the ink offerings that manufacturers of UV LED devices, EFI, Fujifilm North America Corporation, and Roland DGA Corporation, provide.


Customers can use EFI VUTEk LED UV inks and EFIís cool cure technology to produce more jobs, extend application offerings, and lower operational costs, according to the company.


A proprietary design, Fujifilmís graphic systems division offers a patent-pending UV-LED curing system on the Acuity LED printer. The system is designed to provide many benefits, including lower energy consumption and longer lamp life when compared to traditional, mercury vapor UV curing technology. The Acuity LED features the eight-color Fujifilm Uvijet LL LED UV-curable ink set, including CMYK plus light cyan, light magenta, white, and clear. The LED ink curing system allows printing white or clear ink in a single pass for greater productivity. Offering flexibility and durability, Fujifilm notes that the Uvijet LL LED ink is ideal for outdoor applications for up to one year.


Rolandís ECO-UV ink was especially formulated for the VersaUVís curing system, delivering high color density and a wide color gamut for exceptional images. ECO-UV adheres to a range of coated and uncoated media, including foil, paper, clear film, and vinyl for increased versatility. Instant drying and flexible, ECO-UV ink produces graphics that can be stretched and applied around curved surfaces and edges without cracking. Clear coat provides an unprecedented high-gloss finish on output and improves scratch and chemical resistance and outdoor durability.


With ECO-UV, users choose from two different formulations. Original ECO-UV is a fit for applications requiring CMYK, white, and clear coat. If using CMYK and white ink only, users select either original ECO-UV or ECO-UV S for added flexibility. ECO-UV S stretches up to 220 percent with no signs of peeling and cracking, making it ideal for printing on shrink sleeves and shrink wraps, wrapping PET bottles, and vacuum forming applications.


Third Party Inks

In addition to the ink offered by equipment manufacturers, third party ink suppliers provide solutions for UV LED printing.


Mimaki USA, Inc. UV Piezo Inkjet Ink Series LF-200 inks are manufactured by 3M Commercial Graphics for the Mimaki UVJ-160, JFX-1631, and the JFX-1615R printers. Designed for printing on inkjet-compatible 3M files and media for making warranted multi-color graphics, these UV-cured inks are available in CMYK and white. They are designed to be durable, weather resistant, and provide excellent color retention. According to 3M, the flexibility and conformability of inks makes them suitable for graphics used on curved, corrugated, and riveted surfaces as well as flat surfaces, depending on the base film used.


Ink Series LUS-200, a 3M MCS Warranty Component for the Mimaki UVJ-500 UV LED printer are also designed for printing on inkjet-compatible 3M films and media for making arranged multicolor graphics. LUS-200 inks are planned for availability later this year.


Afford Industrial S.A. provides its 880 series, a highly flexible UV inkjet range, which is designed to work with most of the UV LED lamps on the market. Produced in six colors plus white, it provides a high optical density, good cure, and flexibility.


Additionally, the 853 series is a UV ink range, which is compatible with most of the UV LED lamps on the market. The ink range is developed for rigid material printing, due to its ability to provide excellent adhesion on many different materials, including PMMA, PP, acrylics, or melamine. However, the ink range is not recommended for applications where high flexibility is demanded.


Bordeaux Digital PrintInk offers a variety of UV and UV LED inks, which the company says deliver high-quality color and performance at a significant cost savings. The inks differ in printhead/printer compatibility and elongation properties, depending on the application. All inks are offered in a variety of compatible containers for the printers they serve. Bordeaux also provides a chip solution for some UV and UV LED printers.


In addition, Bordeaux recently launched two new primers intended for preprinting on plastic and glass surfaces for better adhesion and improved durability to scratch and abrasion.


Collins Ink Corporation offers CMYK LED inks designed for compatibility with a variety of printheads for both wide and narrow format printing.


Nazdar Ink Technologies offers three LED curing ink sets. 265 Series inks are designed for general graphics use in larger, more industrial roll-to-roll and flatbed equipment. LED 260 inks are similar in their properties to the 265 inks, but designed for smaller printers using Epson-based printheads. The final offering is also for smaller machines using Epson printheads, but targets the membrane switch market.


UV LED Watch

Within the popular UV segment of the graphic arts, UV LED is making strides. Proven by the commitment from several leading players in the wide format print space, UV LED technologies are a must-watch technology.


Click here to read part one of this exclusive online series, Next-Gen UV.

Click on the link above to get more information on the vendors mentioned in this article.

Jul2013, Digital Output DOUV1307

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