UV inkjet printing uses ultraviolet light to dry (or cure) ink as it’s being printed, allowing us to print directly onto various substrates. The print carriage incorporates print heads and a UV light(s) that trail the carriage. The specific light spectrum activates the photo-initiators in the ink instantly curing and adhering it to the material.
This innovative technology is rapidly being adapted in the large format flatbed printing industry precisely because of this ability to instantly dry, which saves time by eliminating secondary processes and other labor cost.
Some of the major benefits of UV printing include:
- Printing on a Wide Range of Substrates
- UV inks are able to adhere to almost any type of substrate, including wood, metal, plastic, acrylic, stone, polyester, polycarbonate and other untraditional materials on both rigid and flexible products.
- Faster Production Speeds
- This type of ink technology cures almost immediately. That means you’ll have faster drying times, which will result in faster turnaround times with fewer steps.
- Optimal Color Quality
- UV inks create vibrant colors that retain consistent, long-lasting quality across various substrates, including dark and transparent products because of the ability to print an opaque white ink.
- Long-Lasting End Products
- Ink on the end products can have great abrasion, chemical and environmental resistance ensuring high quality prints that will last.
- For added longevity over-laminates can also be applied.
- Environmentally Friendly
- The chemical makeup of UV inks emit a very low – if any – volume of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during the printing process. This creates a safer work environment because there will be minimal odor and no harsh chemicals that need to be vented.
- Less Finishing Work
- Since UV inks cure instantly, there will be less of a need to mount the final product after waiting for it to dry/gas-out.
Because of these undeniable benefits, large format printers that are equipped with UV ink technology have the potential to add versatility and increased productivity to any production line.
We are using two UV Flatbed Printers here at MegaPrint Inc. to print wallpaper, museum displays, and all manner of printing on flat sheets of gatorboard, Sintra, Coroplast, and foamcore board.