By Melissa Donovan
Part 2 of 2
Ink sets used in thermoforming applications are specifically created for this process. They must withstand extreme heat, offer high elasticity, in addition to other characteristics. Here we share some of the products designed for digital printing and thermoforming.
Update on Offerings
Agfa provides ink sets offering very high adhesion on plastics, increased flexibility, high durability and scratch resistance, low odor, and good color gamut and opacity. These are compatible with all of its Anapura and Jeti printers. At press time, Agfa noted it was “continually developing new ink sets.”
Fujifilm North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division offers its Fujifilm Uvijet KV ink for use in its Acuity Select, Select X2, Select HS, and Select HS X2 printers. Developed for deep draw thermoforming, the ink elongates up to 1,000 percent while maintaining high quality and vivid colors. It works with polystyrene, PETG, polycarbonate, acrylic, PVC, and ABS and features finishing properties like bending, creasing, routing, and guillotining. A final, thermoformed object offers good scratch resistance and no cracking, whitening, or flaking. Of note, Uvijet KV ink is GREENGUARD Gold certified.
Mimaki USA, Inc. LUS-350 is a UV LED formulated ink offering a range of adhesion levels on thermoforming products. It offers a 350 percent increase in dot stretch. The ink set includes both white and clear to further decoration options. Printers in Mimaki’s lineup that run this ink include the JFX200-2513 4×8-foot flatbed, the JFX200-2531 8×10-foot flatbed, and the UJF-7151 plus 28×20-inch device.
Polymeric Group’s TF-series of screenprinting ink is used in thermoforming applications. It also manufactures FORTIFI functional coatings for thermoforming applications. Thermoform 3D Clear is a vacuum-formable liquid overlaminate clear coat. It is a resilient coating; offering three to five years of weathering in direct outdoor environments. This product dries extremely fast and is optically clear and non-yellowing; available in matte to high gloss finishes. Thermoform 3D Clear is an extremely high elongation product with an unlimited vacuum forming range. Parts printed with Thermoform 3D Clear virtually appear as a conventionally laminated product.
Roland DGA Corporation provides ECO-UV S ink for thermoforming applications. It stretches up to 220 percent with no signs of peeling or cracking. Offered in CMYK and white, the UV ink set is designed for the manufacturer’s VersaUV LEJ-640 hybrid UV LED flatbed printer and the VersaUV LEC2-300 UV printer/cutter.
Sun Chemical’s Crystal UVG is designed to balance all of the requirements to give the best possible performance in a range of thermoforming applications. Available through Sun Chemical’s OEM partners, the UV ink product range offers adhesion, flexibility, surface resistance, and weather ability. Pigments used are lightfast with a Blue Wool Scale rating of 7+ and provide the highest level of outdoor durability.
A number of ink options are available for digitally printed substrates that will eventually undergo the thermoforming process. The digital process offers a high-quality and cost-effective method of decorating thermoformed materials. dps
Oct2020, Industrial Print Magazine