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Going green
Looking after the environment is top of everyone’s agenda at the moment. So
what are the alternatives to solvent inks and how will they impact on the
quality and longevity of your prints? By Tracey Rushton-Thorpe
ike most industries, people become advertising makes up a large part of our inkjet “UV curing inks on the other hand are 100
comfortable with what they are used to business. This type of printing has been per cent solids and dry by polymerisation, not
and despite the benefits of switching to dominated by solvent inkjet technology but we evaporation. The curing process is rapid and
more environmentally friendly inks, there is have seen a move towards UV inks, firstly on uses less energy than traditional drying, but
still some reluctance to make the change. With flatbed printers but now also in roll-fed we are also working with customers and
more and more of the big ink manufacturers printers. partners to develop inks which cure with even
producing an alternative however, it looks like “Solvent inkjet inks contain a high level of lower energy. This will provide faster print
it could be time to make the switch. volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and when speeds but also leads to a reduction in CO
Sales and marketing manager for SunJet, they evaporate, those VOCs go straight into emissions.
the inkjet division of Sun Chemical, Pete the atmosphere. Solvent inks also typically “Efforts are also focussed on using LEDs to
Saunders, said: “At present, wide format require pre and post print heating, leading to cure ink. Standard UV curing lamps contain
printing for point of sale, billboard and other higher energy consumption during printing. mercury and the production and use of
mercury and the lifecycle of mercury-
containing materials is of concern,
particularly in certain US states. As
a result, the ink and coatings
industry is looking at alternatives
with a push towards LED curing
lamps. They do not contain
mercury and they are said to
consume less energy. SunJet has
a range of LED UV curing
inks under the Crystal brand,
which have rapid cure
characteristics and functional
The Colorific Bio range is 90 per
cent biodegradable, helping print
service providers to offer greener
20 SCREEN PROCESS AND DIGITAL IMAGING l November 2009 Visit us at
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