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UV Curing with traditional mercury lamps and the latest LED curing systems provides many advantages in the printing industry over aqueous and solvent ink printing solutions. Printing with UV curable inks provides the ability to print on a very wide variety of substrates such as plastics, paper, canvas, glass, metal, foam boards, tile, films, and many other materials. UV curable inks perform their best on non-porous, non soft and non stretchy materials. UV Curable ink dries (cures) almost instantaneously and this characteristic not only helps with the print manufacturers process time but the ink also runs less than solvent and aqueous ink solutions leading to a crisp high definition image quality.
When UV inks are cured they become solid allowing printers to build a 3D profile in print applications where raised or domed effects are advantageous such as braille signs, logos, marketing pieces, instrument panels, and more. UV Curable inks latch on to the most difficult non-porous, non receptive surfaces and achieve a durability that other inks cannot. UV Curable inks work well on rigid non-receptive thick boards whereas solvent or aqueous inks cannot because there is no way to heat through the board like is done with thin films on roll to roll solvent and aqueous printers.
UV curable inks are used in many applications where the finished product must retain a useful life of multiple years such as road signage, license plates, and others. UV curable inks do not evaporate like Solvent and Aqueous inks. Evaporation can lead to changes in viscosity and thickness which leads to poor print quality and clogged printing lines. UV curable inks are more sensitive to light and air, with the cure speeds and the change from liquid to solid almost instantaneously formulations and inkjet printers need to be tight in their tolerances to maximize the advantageous characteristics noted above.