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Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cleaning Solution for UV and Water-Based Inks

When choosing a cleaning solution for UV and water-based inks, you must consider several factors. UV bulbs cure UV inks, and while the intensity of these bulbs is less than press bulbs, they still begin to cure the ink. With time, the ink will continue to cure. Therefore, choosing the right UV ink cleaning solution is vital for ensuring the long-term performance of your inks.

Vegetable-based inks reduce VOCs.

Vegetable-derived inks have lower volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a common cause of indoor air pollution. According to the American Lung Association, VOCs react with other gases in the air to form pollutants. Therefore, when choosing a cleaning solution for water-based or UV inks, you should select a vegetable-based ink instead of a petroleum-based one.

Vegetable-based inks reduce the amount of VOCs when compared to mineral oil-based inks. They are easy to recycle and do not pose serious health risks. Furthermore, they are more environmentally friendly, and you can mix them to achieve the desired print quality. As vegetable oil-based inks are organic and renewable, they are the best choice for the packaging industry.

Latex-based inks have a longer shelf life.

Water-based and UV inks have very different cleaning requirements and methods. Aqueous inks typically contain water as the solvent but can also contain pigment particles and colorants. As a result, water-based inks generally have a longer shelf life than dye-based inks. Water-based inks are not as permanent as UV-curable inks but can withstand some amounts of UV exposure.

For water-based and UV inks, different maintenance steps are required. UV-curable inks will start to “cure” when sunlight or other UV rays are exposed. Inks stored in cartridges and lines should be rotated to prevent solidification. Store inks in cool, dry rooms, so they don’t sit still for long.

Pigment inks produce vibrant colors.

When choosing a cleaning solution for water-based and UV pigmented inks, there are several factors to consider. These factors can affect how well the cleaning solution works on the ink. In addition to the solvents and the pH level of the solution, consider the type of substrate used for the print job. Nonporous materials spread the ink around, while porous materials absorb it. Water-based inks and solvent inks evaporate when applied to nonporous surfaces. On the other hand, curable inks require an energy source to harden, such as UV light or electron beams.

Water-based formulations are easier to clean and are more stable on press cleaners. But the water-based solution has its downsides, such as low evaporation rates, which may be problematic for some non-absorbent substrates. However, UV inks are widely used in the packaging industry and are especially well suited for flexibles, labels, and cartons.

Hybrid inks offer some advantages.

One of the biggest questions in the ink industry is whether or not to switch to hybrid inks. This question is not easy to answer. There are advantages and disadvantages to both technologies. There are some critical differences between the two. Choosing the right one for your business will ultimately depend on your specific printing needs. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a cleaning solution for UV and water-based inks

Energy-cured inks have the advantage of instantaneous drying, resulting in faster manufacturing, finishing, and shipping. In addition, according to Subh Chatterjee, director of advanced technology at Sun Chemical, immediate curing improves print quality, and it also speeds secondary conversion, which cuts down on inventory. This also reduces the number of print job reruns.

Eco-solvents reduce VOCs

Water-based inks are a good choice for many printers because they have high surface tension and are compatible with most elastomer sleeve materials. However, oil-based inks are not so environmentally friendly and require careful handling and storage. Not only do they pollute the air, but they can also harm employees and the environment. That’s why eco-solvents have become famous for cleaning solvent inks.

Inks made from vegetable oils contain various VOCs, including some that are toxic to humans and animals. Some are considered carcinogenic, and the EPA has banned them from being used on food packaging. Using an environmentally friendly cleaning solution, you should avoid solvents with phthalates. Some of these compounds are not dangerous to humans.

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