You already know that UV printing is different from conventional printing. You probably know it is a better process in which ink dries faster, but you may not know much more than that.
I gotta tell you, the process of UV printing is pretty awesome stuff! Yes, it’s still “ink on paper” but the ink dries through a completely different way. Conventional printing methods require that solvents in the ink evaporate into the air and absorb into the paper. Depending on the paper stock weight, porous character, and the nature of the project itself, drying could add days to each printing job – especially if the printing was done on something non-porous, like plastic.
But UV inks dry through a photomechanical process. When HardingPoorman inks are exposed to ultra-violet lights, they turn from a liquid into a solid. This is done with very little evaporation of solvents and way less absorption of the ink into the paper stock.
This is a pretty cool for several reasons:
- One of the biggest advantages of UV printing is that there are fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released into the environment – so it’s a green technology.
- Another advantage is that the inks immediately dry on plastic and other non-porous substrates, so it’s fast.
- No smudging! And no need for costly aqueous coatings to protect the print from fingerprints and smears.
- UV printing means you can practically print on anything.
- Brighter colors! Since UV inks dry when exposed to UV light, they do not have time to soak into the paper. So ink dots sitting on top of the uncoated stock are less “trapped,” providing more vibrant color.