Thursday, June 11, 2009

PRINTING INKS - Standard Types

Many printing inks used by any purposes produced by printing ink manufacturers. These printing inks commonly used for small business to high-scale printing business activities, from small home business printer to the large printing machine usage. 
What kinds of printing inks type ready on the market?

Web Offset Non-Heatset Ink
The non-heatset variety of web offset printing ink is a common type of ink used on web presses for newspaper and business forms printing. Non-Heatset ink is printed on absorbent, uncoated paper stock. Coated stocks should not be used with this type of ink because the paper will not completely absorb the ink, resulting in excess smudging and smearing.

Web Offset Heatset Ink
The heatset variety of web offset ink contains special varnishes that help the ink dry when heat is applied. Heatset presses are equipped with drier units for this purpose. Due to the varnishes, the ink printed on the paper is highly flammable, so the drying units must be specially built and properly maintained to avoid potential hazards. The main advantage of heatset ink is a printed product with a higher degree of quality.

Quickset Ink
Quickset ink contains a special varnish to speed the drying process. Unlike heatset ink, quickset ink does not require a heat source for proper drying and curing. The ink will not dry out on the press, but will dry quickly after it has been printed onto the substrate.

The are four basic processes that allows quickset ink to dry depending on the formulation: evaporation, absorption, oxidation, and polymerization. Newer types of quickset ink have a greater proportion of antioxidants and higher boiling-point distillates, which evaporate more slowly, so the absorption process plays a greater role with the newer inks. All four processes share equally in the ink curing process with older ink types.

Uncoated paper stocks are best suited for quickset ink. This is because the low viscosity distillates and antioxidants are quickly absorbed by the substrate, which leaves the remaining pigment and vehicle to dry quickly on the surface.

Sheet-fed Ink
Sheet-fed ink is manufactured specifically for sheet-fed presses and usually has a higher tack than web offset inks. The reason for this is that most sheet-fed presses run at slower speeds than web presses and a higher tack is necessary to provide the necessary quality.

Rubber-base Ink
Ink formulated with a rubber base is a good choice when flexibility in the printing process is important. Rubber-base ink can be printed on coated and uncoated paper and it dries quickly. It is most often used on small sheet-fed presses.

Soybean-base Ink
Soybean-base ink is becoming a popular alternative to petroleum-base ink because of the ease in which it is used and because it is environmentally friendly. Soy-base ink prints and handles similar to petroleum-base ink, but it is much less toxic because of the soybean oil. The soybean ink is biodegradable, meaning that it is eventually broken down and is much less hazardous to the environment. Some soy inks may contain petroleum additives, so if a client requires 100% soy-based ink for a print application, it is important to be fully informed on the type of soy ink that is used.

Water-base Ink
Water-base ink has been around for awhile, but it is still not as popular as other ink types. The usage of water-base ink may increase as environmental laws get tougher on the acceptable VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) emissions generated from petroleum-base ink. Water-base ink emits no VOC's. It is safe to work with and the print quality is comparable to other ink types. Water-base ink is used mainly in flexography and gravure printing. It is a good choice for printers and customers who want their projects manufactured with nontoxic materials.

Laser Ink
Laser ink is specially formulated to withstand the extreme heat of the laser printer. If conventional ink is used for the preprinted portion of a document (such as an invoice or statement), the ink will melt in a laser printer because of the excessive heat produced by the laser printer. This results in damage to the preprinted document and possible damage to the laser printer because of ink adhering to the internal parts of the printer.

UV (Ultraviolet) Ink
Ultraviolet ink is formulated to cure and dry when exposed to a UV light source, unlike conventional ink, which dries through evaporation and absorption. Instead of being absorbed into the paper, the Ultraviolet ink remains on the surface until it is exposed to the UV rays, which instantaneously transforms the ink into a hard film. Ultraviolet ink can be applied to many types of substrates including paper, metal, vinyl, and glass.

Process Ink Colors
Process ink colors are used in Four Color Process Printing. Cyan, magenta, yellow, and black are the colors necessary for this process and are formulated differently for different types of printing processes.

High-Fidelity Ink Colors
High-fidelity ink colors are use in an advanced form of color printing, combining the standard four process colors of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, with two more colors - usually orange and green. This allows for a greater color range, increased subtlety in the gradations of color, and additional vibrancy..


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