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Development of UV-Curing Inks for Food Packaging Applications

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Web printing systems are now being developed which will allow digital production of packaging with ink jet. Within the very diverse range of packaging applications, food packaging is in particular attracting much interest. The commonly accepted benefits of the digital process – i.e. cost effective short run printing, inventory reduction, versioning etc are the main drivers for the activity. The usual conventional print processes being displaced are flexography or gravure, often with solvent based inks or for some markets UV-Curing.

With ink jet printing, UV-curing is the leading technology in developing this application, because of the excellent reliability of UV-Curing inks in the single pass web printing systems. There are, however, considerable challenges in developing suitable inks for these food applications, due to the necessity of meeting various odor, taint and extractables requirements. The difficulty of meeting these requirements with ink jet is heightened due to the low viscosity and consequently high monomer content and the high photo-initiator content of ink jet inks.

This paper will examine the requirements in the applications currently under development and the ink considerations in this work.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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