SOLVENT INKS: Used to be the traditional type of ink
for small format digital printing applications. The ink is comprised
of pigment (color), plus an etching agent which helps ‘etch’ out the
media when it has been applied, and an evaporating agent that assists
in drying the ink out.
These inks are less eco-friendly than the newer UV/UV-LED or ECO
Solvent alternatives because
some amount of VOCs and inhalation hazards.
However, solvent inks are well-suited for vehicle wraps, banners and
applications requiring a flexible substrate or application to an
SOLVENT BASED PRINTING:
traditional type of printer for
Well-suited for wraps and applications requiring a flexible substrate
or applying to an irregular surface. The ink is ejected out of the
print head, hits the media, the etching chemical then etches (or
creates a void) into the media where the ink will reside, and then
the heaters on the printer help evacuate the drying agent in the ink.
During the drying process, the liquid parts of the ink will
evaporate, leaving the pigment in place. This long drying process can
UV/UV-LED INKS: Replacing solvent inks for many
applications today because they have instant drying capabilities
(entirely cured) and have become more flexible in recent years.
“UV” is a reference to the curing process.
UV/UV-LED inks do not require a solvent that must evaporate during
curing- which equals limited/no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and
limited inhalation hazards.
Replacing solvent printing
Greater print production rates can be achieved with UV ink because
you don’t have to wait on drying solvent.
UV/UV-LED printers are known to
generate minimum heat be
long-lasting, safe, energy and time efficient.
ECO SOLVENT INKS:
Digital printing inks with outdoor weatherable properties.
ECO Solvent inks have potential to last up to two years outdoors when
flooded with clear coat and up to at least six months unprotected,
depending on the climate.
SMALL FORMAT DIGITAL PRINTERS:
Going beyond the use of flat, thin substrates like paper, today's
small format digital printing has the ability to print on substrates
up to about two feet wide and nearly four inches thick, well-suited
for engraving and signage projects. Print vibrant full-color images
onto gifts, awards, pens, pencils, etc.
WETTING: Wetting is
the measured ability of an ink or liquid to permeate or absorb onto
the surface of a material. A material must be receptive to an ink's
natural wetting characteristics for effective bonding.
PRE-PRINTING SURFACE MODIFICATION: Can include a
variety of chemical techniques that are used on the substrate before
digital printing to improve ink bonding.
Rowmark's DigiMark OSi does not require
corona treating or any pre-printing surface modification.
A pre-printing surface modification technique involving the discharge
of corona plasma through the application of high voltages to impart
changes in material's properties and surface energy. This is often
conducted on plastic sheet materials, as most have a low surface
tension. Rowmark's DigiMark OSi does not require corona treating or
any pre-printing surface modification.
DIRECT-TO-SUBSTRATE INK JET: Printing high quality,
full color images directly onto a variety of flat and 3-dimensional
substrates without the use of a transfer paper or heat press. Direct
ink-jet printing is done today in both large format (large scale
projects, bigger applications) and small format (more custom gifts,
scientific terms, sublimation refers to the transformation of a solid
directly to a gas without going through the liquid state. Or as we
know: sublimation (aka dye sublimation) is the process by which a
full-color digital image or photo is printed on special heat transfer
paper and then placed in a heat press with a substrate. Over a period
of seconds, the ink dyes in the paper vaporize when in the press,
immediately permeating and chemically bonding with the surface fibers
of the substrate. This is an alternate fabrication method to digital
MAGIC TOUCH: This is an image
transfer paper system similar to sublimation that allows a full color
image from a color copier or printer to be transferred virtually onto
any application product via various specialized heat presses (one for
flat substrates, one for hats, one for mugs, etc.) This is an
alternate fabrication method to digital printing.
THERMAL PRINT: A thermal
transfer print is adhered to a substrate via a printer that melts a
coating of ribbon to the transfer so that it stays glued to the
material on which the print is applied. Printers use a fixed width
thermal print head, pressing onto a paper or plastic label, over a
driven rubber roller called a platen. In direct thermal printing, no
ribbon is present in the process. This is an alternate fabrication
method to digital printing.
SCREEN PRINT: Screen printing
is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an
ink-blocking stencil. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh
that transfer ink or other printable materials, which can be pressed
through the mesh with a fill blade or squeegee to create a
sharp-edged image on a substrate. Screen printing is also known
as silkscreen, serigraphy, and serigraph printing. This is an
alternate fabrication method to digital printing.
HOT STAMP: This is a dry
printing method in which a heated die (with engraved plates) and foil
are used to apply graphics to a surface. The die is mounted and
heated, the foil is positioned above the material to be imprinted and
a combination of heat, dwell time and pressure control the quality of
the stamp. This is an alternate fabrication method to digital
WHITE INK PRINTING TECHNOLOGY:
fairly new development in the market that allows the printing of
full-color images on clear substrates with the use of white ink
pigments. White inks are much heavier and thicker than (think milky
white-out) colored inks, which make it much more difficult to spray
ink out of the tiny print heads.