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Environmentally friendly water-based ink has been gradually capture the market
news source: release time:2015-12-08 16:39:28 browse number:

●  what is the water-based ink

The so-called water-based ink is water as the solvent and its main scientific processing, compared with other water-based ink printing ink, because it does not contain volatile toxic organic solvents, it is no adverse health impact in the printing process of the printing press operator of atmospheric environmental pollution, pollution of the print itself. Since the ink has a non-flammable characteristics, but also to eliminate explosive hidden inside the pressroom, it is conducive to safe production. Of course, the scope of application of ink and ink are not the same, in order to offset the main ink, ink to flexo, gravure based. In Europe and Japan and other developed countries, it has been gradually replacing ink ink, to become special in addition to other printing ink offset outside. In the United States, 95 percent of the flexographic printing ink used, 80% of the gravure printing ink used.

Widely used in foreign countries in addition to environmental protection ink, the performance itself is also very advantageous: ink stability, high brightness, tinting strength, non-corrosive plate, strong adhesion after printing, drying speed is adjustable, water resistance, four color overprint and spot color printing can be used, and so on. Ink in the development and application of both started late, but developed rapidly, especially in recent years is exponentially more rapid pace of development. With the increased demand for ink, domestic ink quality is also improved. Slow drying ink exists in the traditional sense, luster difference, not water, not the real India and other shortcomings, has been significantly improved. In the case of the generally high price of imported ink, cheap ink has gradually occupied the domestic market.


●  the water-based ink composition and characteristics

Water-based ink is a water-soluble resin, a senior pigments, solvents and additives scientifically complex machining and grinding. Water-soluble resin in the ink acts as main binders, the pigment particles are uniformly dispersed, the ink has certain liquidity and provide adhesion with the substrate material, so that after the printing ink can form a uniform film . The hue depends on the ink pigment, the pigment particles are uniformly distributed in the connected state compound, the pigment particles can be generated to light absorption, reflection, refraction and transmission effects, thereby showing a certain color. General requirements pigments with bright color, proper color strength and hiding power, and higher dispersion. In addition, depending on the intended use, may also have a different wear resistance. The role of the solvent is to dissolve the resin, so that the ink has a certain fluidity, the transfer printing process can be achieved smoothly, and the viscosity and drying property of the ink is adjusted. Water-based ink solvents mainly water and a small amount of ethanol.

Water-based inks commonly used additives are mainly: PH value stabilizers, slow drying agents, defoamers, dilute agent.

(1) PH value stabilizer. PH value of the stabilizer is mainly used to adjust and control the PH value of water-based ink, to stabilize within the range of 8.0-9.5, at the same time, it can adjust the viscosity of water-based ink, and an ink dilution. In general, in the printing process at predetermined time intervals should be added a suitable amount of a stabilizer PH value, so that the water-based ink to maintain good printing condition.

(2) slow drying agent. Slow drying agent can inhibit and slow down the water-based ink drying speed to prevent the occurrence of drying the ink on the printing plate or roller, reduce the incidence of blocking version and paste version of such printing faults. Control the amount of slow drying agent, the general should be controlled at between 1% -2% of the total amount of ink, if adding too much volume, ink drying is not complete, it will offset printed or odors.

(3) a defoaming agent. Defoamers role is to suppress and eliminate the bubbles. In general, when a water-based ink viscosity is too high, PH value is too low, or when the press runs the faster it is easy to produce air bubbles larger than would occur if the resulting drain white, uneven ink, bound It will affect the quality of the print.

Water-based inks compliance with environmental requirements, products with non-toxic, non-corrosive, non-irritating odor, non-flammable, non-explosive, safety, easy to transport, and the high concentration, with less low viscosity, good printability, performance stability, good adhesion fastness, fast drying, dry water, alkali and excellent abrasion resistance; in prepress, India and the printing process is easy adjustment operation, after printing prints seem imprinted full, colorful, high gloss, gorgeous rich, complex printed patterns can achieve rich level, can print vivid color and high gloss characteristics.


●   the application of water-based ink

The most important feature is the reduction of water-based ink VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions into the atmosphere, thereby preventing air pollution, improve the printing job environment, significantly reducing the fire hazard. It can completely eliminate solvent-based inks in some toxic hazards and pollution on the human body for packaged goods, improve the overall quality of the environment. Particularly suitable for food, medicine and other health conditions demanding packaging and printing products.

Water-based printing inks, currently the most important areas of application are flexible printing and gravure printing. According to information, the United States within a narrow range of flexographic print on paper, 95% use water-based ink printing, gravure printing paper, 80% water-based ink. In recent years, domestic development faster, but the application of contrast there is a large amount of foreign gap.

Water-based ink application is appropriate, is an important factor affecting the print quality. Water-based ink control targets include fineness, viscosity, drying speed and PH value.

In flexographic printing, transfer and control the amount of ink water-based ink is borne by the anilox roll, therefore is necessary to choose the product according to the situation fineness of the anilox roll, solid printing usually selected anilox of 300 lines or so, relatively thick layers of ink, and printing 150 lines of fine-level version of the 600 line anilox need to select the number of lines printed anilox roll is generally four times the number of lines in order to obtain better print definition and resolution.

Viscosity is the most important application of water-based ink control targets, is a property of preventing fluid flow. Since the viscosity of a direct impact on the quality of the ink transferability and printing, so the ink viscosity control is very important. In the printing process, the water-based ink viscosity is too low will cause the light color, dot gain, uneven ink transfer and other ills; on the contrary, if water-based ink viscosity is too high, the ink transfer performance is relatively poor, prone to dirty version, paste version and other ills.

Flexo water-based ink is generally used directly without dilution, the viscosity may range 30 "-45" / 25 ℃ (Tu 4 # cup), cardboard boxes with flexographic aqueous ink viscosity can be lower, as long as the timing of additional water stabilizer, Its viscosity can be basically under control. Diluted diluent 1, the use of the general control of the viscosity of 15 "-25" / 25 ℃: gravure water-based ink according to traditional practice for general use of ethanol and water 1.

Water-based ink is usually alkaline (mainly by amines to maintain), PH value is generally water-based ink should be controlled between 8.0-9.5 appropriate, if the PH value of the water-based ink is too high, it will affect the ink drying speed; if PH value is too low, the ink viscosity increases drying speed becomes faster, likely to cause the plate and anilox blockage, causing the layout dirty.

Ink drying mainly volatile type drying and penetration type drying. Drying properties of the ink means ink is transferred to the substrate after the drying time required, and this is one of the important indicators to measure the quality and performance of the ink, and therefore, control the ink drying performance to achieve good printing effect is an important means.

Water-based flexo ink drying speed depends on the speed of the printing press, drying capacity and substrate material drying equipment performance and composition of the ink itself. Select the ink drying speed of the general principle is: Under existing conditions the press, before the next set of printing color inks and performing rewinding or should be able to fully dry before stacking, but on the plate but not dry. If the ink drying too fast, it will gradually dried and stacked on the plate and anilox and are likely to clog the anilox roll, resulting in the loss or destruction of half-tone dots, field drain section appears white; if the ink drying speed is too slow, there will be print odor phenomenon, or in the case of multi-color overprint offset will cause the back.

In fact, the ink viscosity and PH value on the drying properties of the ink will produce a certain influence, such as the viscosity is too high will cause the ink drying speed is reduced, PH value is too low will cause the ink drying too fast. Therefore, in the printing process should first adjust and control the viscosity and PH value of the water-based ink, and then adding an appropriate amount of the ink drying agent or slow drying agent according to the actual printing speed, adjust the water-based ink drying speed.

Fineness of the water-based ink is the size of the ink pigment particles and the extent of the connection compound uniformly dispersed. It is also a very important indicator of quality. Fineness of the ink not only have a certain impact on the ink color strength, hue and other properties, but also affect the ink rheology. Ink particles are too thick, it is easy to cause dot feathering, paste version of the ills; however, if the ink particles are too small, the fluidity of the ink is too big, it will cause dot gain, it is bound to affect print quality.


●  several issues affecting the quality of water-based ink and should be noted

1, the ink system for the water resistance, do not ink alcohol ink and solvent-based inks used in combination or added to an organic solvent in the ink, so as not to cause print quality problems.

2, the ink should be stored indoors at room temperature at 5-50 ℃.

3, when used, the application will ink a stirring rod, stir in the bucket, after measuring the viscosity into the ink tank. If the viscosity is too high or too low, it can be adjusted thinners or thickeners.

4, the printing process due to volatilization of water will lead to an increase in viscosity of ink and PH value decreased, PH value should be controlled between 8.5-9.5, if outside this range can be used to adjust PH stabilizer, maintaining viscosity and PH value stable.

5, under normal circumstances, ink very suitable for high-speed printing, drying too fast or if the effect of the situation encountered poorly printed, you can add a certain proportion of slow drying agent at low speed printing.

6, after the printing is completed shall collect the remaining ink back to the corresponding original bucket or ink tank reclosable lid to prepare for the next reuse. Beware of the water causes the ink due to volatilization surface conjunctiva, thickened and even become dry.

7, after the printing of residual ink on the printed set rinse with water before it is not completely dry, can not be washed with water to wash the ink available cleaning agent.


The use of ink additives

Printability ink by printing conditions affect the length of time the objective conditions of the surface properties of the substrate, temperature and humidity, ink is stored, so the use of ink, you need to use some additives to make fine adjustments to the ink to get the best printing effect.

1, color species: for deeper color. An amount of 0-30%, more than 30% will cause the ink connection material content is too low, resulting in decreased adhesion and abrasion resistance.

2, the withdrawal pale agent: used to reduce color depth, the amount is not limited. Adding a large withdrawal of light detergents may cause a slight increase in viscosity of ink, this time can be adjusted while adding a small amount of diluent.

3, thinner: to reduce the viscosity of the ink. The amount of less than 3% does not reduce the ink color depth, and maintains constant ink PH value. Adding more diluent or diluted using tap water of high hardness can lead to generation of bubbles, a defoaming agent may be added simultaneously defoaming. Diluent should be added slowly with stirring to prevent the viscosity is too low.

4, slow drying agent: used to reduce the ink drying speed, the amount of 0-10%.

5, the drying agent: used to accelerate ink drying speed, the amount of 0-3%.

6, defoamers: to eliminate air bubbles in the amount of 1 ‰ -2 ‰.

7, PH stabilizer: for holding ink PH value, the amount of ink to make the PH value is maintained at 8.5-9.5 appropriate.

8, thickeners: means for increasing the viscosity of the ink, in an amount of 0.5% -1%.

V. Conclusion


In China, with high-strength corrugated box packaging industry rapidly expanded the use of printed corrugated boxes has received increasing attention. Important for printed material - water-based ink quality people have invested considerable attention. Carton production, although the proportion of small share of the cost of ink, then once the impact of the printing quality, it will cause the entire batch of cardboard and scrap return. We must produce high-quality water-based ink products, and printing properly regulate its performance has become very important. In recent years, with the continuous improvement of environmental requirements in the packaging and commercial printing and other aspects it has gradually increased the number of health and environmental protection requirements and constraints. In this trend, efforts to develop pollution-free pollution "green" water-based ink printed materials, will be made good economic and social benefits.


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