The graphic arts sector combines the printing and packaging industry and represents a variety of printing processes. An industry people get in touch with every day: a trip to the local supermarket offering a variety of food packages, advertisement materials on your door step, reading a glossy magazine at the doctors office or opening your milk carton in the morning.
Enhanced scuff and chemical resistance, along with higher gloss and faster cure for overprint varnishes, are elements that favor UV / EB over other technologies, allowing this technology to dominate the cardboard packaging market.
IGM offers all the main acrylates, photoinitiators and additives, and special resins providing low gloss.
UV / EB curable inks are experiencing continuous growth. Their advantages over solvent-borne and waterborne inks include faster drying times, improved setting, little or no VOC emissions, lower energy requirements, and better rub and scratch resistance. They enable short-run, high quality on-demand commercial printing, and online converting of folding cartons in the packaging industry. Energy curable inks are used in lithographic, flexographic, screen, and inkjet printing.
For printing inks, IGM has several oligomers and monomers that improve pigment flow resulting in better printing definition and improved adhesion properties.
As curing pigments systems can be challenging, IGM offers a variety of photoinitiators for optimized cure.
UV curable inkjet printing is a rapidly growing application. Compared to conventional printing and imaging technologies, its advantages include relatively low hardware cost, full color high resolution image quality that is suitability for low-cost short-run digital and on-demand printing, and the ability to print marking and coding on three-dimensional objects.
UV curable inkjet inks are typically formulated as 100% solids or water-based. Formulations usually contain low viscosity acrylates, as printing head nozzles must permit inks to be forced through very small orifices.
There are four key mechanisms by which photoinitiators, photoinitiator by-products and unreacted monomers come to be present in packaged food: penetration migration from the printed side through the substrate to the unprinted side of the package; contact migration from the printed side to the unprinted side of another sheet in a stack or roll; evaporation migration of volatile materials by heating during cooking or baking; and condensation migration through steam distillation during cooking, baking or sterilization.
Inks used for printing of food packaging must be formulated with raw materials designed for low migration and provide the necessary scuff resistance, chemical resistance and stability.
IGM’s patented polymeric photoinitiators have been designed for this purpose. These low migration and low odor inks have been adopted by premium brand owners of the food packaging industry. UV / EB curable inks are playing an important role in the food packaging industry due to their cross linking and good printing definition. IGM’s Omnipol and several Photomer products comply with EU regulations and Swiss ordinance, but also end user specifications such as Nestle.
Food packaging is strongly dominated by paper and carton board, but due to new trends flexible packaging and plastics are more commonly used.
Our technical team can customize our products to meet your requirements or can work with you to develop and manufacture new materials.