New Developments in Inks & Pigments for Flexible Packaging
From new flexo inks to resins, there’s been a lot of activity in the market.
How can you create better, more vibrant packaging that pops out on the shelf? Good printing can help, and arguably the most important ingredient in a good print job is the ink that is used. Inks have come a long way over the years, and it’s a market that is constantly moving forward with new formulas and developments. Here’s a look at some of the latest new inks available to the market:
Magnum’s TITANPRINT Inks for Flexible Packaging
Designed for flexo and gravure wide web applications, Magnum Inks & Coatings’ family of TITANPRINT water-based inks deliver superb adhesion, water resistance and transparent colors. This is thanks to a non-blocking formula that enables high-quality film and foil printing. The TITANPRINT family consists of TITANPRINT AQ, which offers rub and scuff resistance and is designed for most wide web applications, and TITANPRINT UV, an energy-curable ink also designed for wide web flexible packaging applications.
INX’s New Addition to the AquaTech Family
Released at the 2018 InfoFlex exhibition, INX’s AquaTech ION-X inks are a crossover flexo variety designed to print on paper and most film stocks. ION-X inks offer high-quality performance and good print stability among other advantages.
“ION-X performed well (in trials),” notes Jim Krstulic, INX product manager, Tag & Label. “The inks printed cleanly and had plenty of strength, which allowed (for) finer line anilox rolls for their spot colors.”
AquaTech ION-X is also available in the ION XS series, which is specifically designed to boost print, film and thermal label printing on anilox rolls up to 1,500 lines per inch by using the 23 Plus Series water-based dispersions.
“The ION X and XS systems are a highly pigmented formulation, which provides for the strong and vibrant colors you’ll see,” Krstulic adds. “The system has a great print response in regards to adhesion, lay down and user friendliness on a wide variety of porous and non-porous label stocks.”
Sun Chem’s New Laminating Ink
Sun Chemical’s SunStrato Insero 1519 is a new all-purpose laminating flexographic nitrocellulose blendable ink system designed for a wide variety of films and applications. These inks are designed to have excellent smear resistance for 100 percent solid adhesives, while at the same time delivering superior lamination bonds.
Flint Group’s New UV LED Series for Shrink Sleeves
Flint Group’s EkoCure XS – a UV LED ink series with good adhesion and post-shrink performance on shrink substrates – is dual-cure and provides consistent cure at the highest printing speeds. The series is specifically designed for the demands of shrink sleeve applications.
“We knew from interviews with clients specializing in the short run shrink sleeve market that they want a UV dual-curable ink with better adhesion and increased curing speed to boost productivity and reduce yield losses” says Kelly Kolliopoulos, global marketing director for Flint Group Narrow Web. “EkoCure XS combines the latest ink chemistry, including novel binders that provide perfect cure and sufficient flexibility of the cured ink allowing the adhesion to remain fool-proof – especially after post-shrink processing is completed. The full range of pantone shades and opaque white are available.”
Adds Dr. Paulo Vieira, director of R&D, Flint Group Narrow Web NA: “EkoCure XS is the first shrink sleeve system that is dual-cure. Our scientists have developed a unique combination of photo-initiators and binders allowing the ink to cross link from top to bottom and therefore cure fully when exposed to the UV wavelengths from either Mercury or LED lamps.”
EkoCure XS inks enable converter productivity, yield and finished product quality. It is designed to be easy for any converter to adopt for the full range of shrink sleeve applications.
BASF’s New Ink Resin for Flexible Packaging
BASF’s Versamid PUR 2110 is a film-forming polyurethane resin that combines excellent pigment dispersion properties with high bond strengths. Ideal for flexible packaging applications, it also offers improved printability, notably for use in high-performance lamination applications. The ink resin allows for conversion from gravure to flexo printing processes, while offering improved pigment grind properties.