Flint Group Reveals UV Low Energy, UV LED Curing Ink For Sheetfed Applications

PLYMOUTH, MN—January 8, 2014—UV low energy and UV LED curing technologies represent the most significant development in energy curing for years. Each technology demands an evolutionary change in ink chemistry. The Ultraking XCURA and Ultraking XCURA LED are shining examples of Flint Group’s continuous commitment to providing innovative solutions to new trends in the printing industry. Regardless of which new curing technology the converter chooses, Flint Group has the solution with the Ultraking XCURA family of products.

Flint Group, in collaboration with leading OEM’s and lamp manufacturers, has developed, and is now launching, a full range of low energy UV and UV LED curing inks for sheetfed applications: Ultraking XCURA and Ultraking XCURA LED. Rodney Balmer, director of global research and product development explains the challenges of developing inks to operate under these new parameters: “These inks are formulated using a selection of photoinitiators, which absorb at the higher end of the spectrum and are optimized for high-speed curing. The need for multiple UV lamps is not necessary, thus reducing operating costs for the printer.”

Ultraking XCURA is specifically formulated to meet the curing challenges of low energy UV technology. A key feature of XCURA is that one product will print on certain non-porous substrates, as well as standard coated and uncoated substrates—a real winner when printers need quality and flexibility on tight schedules. Low energy UV utilizes modified traditional UV technology to provide significant ecological and economical advantages to traditional UV. By eliminating or filtering out wavelengths below 290nm, no ozone is created. Thus, there is no need for the installation of expensive, space consuming exhaust systems. This makes low energy UV highly attractive to fast turnaround conventional printers, allowing them to save on energy costs by eliminating infra-red and warm air drying, while gaining immediate drying, which saves on work-in-progress and improving delivery times.

Tyler Newsom, product manager Sheetfed Inks North America, stated “as commercial printers are pushed to offer shorter and shorter lead times, work-in-progress must be kept to a minimum and jobs have to be turned-around for next day delivery. Low energy UV curing will allow the conventional commercial printer to manufacture to these new targets. We can see the web-to-print sector in particular being early adopters of this technology because of the dramatic reduction in manufacturing time and the lower entry cost than traditional UV.”

Ultraking XCURA LED utilizes specially selected materials to match the narrow and targeted wavelength (395nm) that is typical for high power UV LED lamp output. UV LED lamp technology utilizes high power light that emits diode technology, which requires significantly less energy to operate than traditional UV. This results in as much as 40 percent reduction in energy costs. Because of the targeted wavelength at 395nm, both ozone and heat generation are eliminated, resulting in a safer working environment and ability to print heat sensitive substrates. UV LED offers additional advantages over traditional UV like instant on/off, significantly longer lamp life (20,000 hours v. 2,000) and low maintenance.

Newsom continued, “The cost advantages of UV LED technology over traditional UV paired with the instant drying advantages of energy curing really open the door for conventional commercial printers to adopt this technology. Ultraking XCURA LED provides the ink solution for the perfect balance of press stability and cure speed.”

Ultraking XCURA and Ultraking XCURA LED products have high color strength, display sharp ink/water stability and require lower levels of energy to operate. They also comply with ISO 2846-1 and are suitable for printing to ISO 12647-1 standards.

Ultraking XCURA and Ultraking XCURA LED are commercially available now.

Flint Group

Flint Group is dedicated to serving the global printing and packaging industry. The company develops, manufactures and markets an extensive portfolio of printing consumables, including: a vast range of conventional and energy curable inks and coatings for most offset, flexographic and gravure applications; pressroom chemicals, printing blankets and sleeves for offset printing; photopolymer printing plates and sleeves, plate-making equipment and flexographic sleeve systems; pigments and additives for use in inks and other colorant applications. With a strong customer focus, unmatched service and support, and superior products, Flint Group strives to provide exceptional value, consistent quality and continuous innovation to customers around the world. Headquartered in Luxembourg, Flint Group employs some 6,800 people. Revenues for 2012 were € 2.25 billion (US $2.9 billion). On a worldwide basis, the company is the number one or number two supplier in every major market segment it serves.

Source: Flint Group.

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