What Type Ink Do You Need?
The type of ink you need depends on what your material your substrate (packaging) is made from. In fact your packaging is either porous or non-porous; Paper and card are types of porous and plastic, film and flexible pouches are types of non-porous substrate. The dry time is another consideration as well as opacity, contrast, adhesion, cost, and odour.
Generally, there are 3 types of CIJ inks; MEK, Acetone & Food Grade (Ethanol) ink. The general purpose ink is MEK and has a wide range of suitability for general printing to substrates like most cartons, card or paper (porous) substrate and some plastics and metal. Some inks are specially developed for glass, steel and difficult plastics like cable and wire, and some medical devices.
CIJ Inks usually come black in colour but are available in other colours such as yellow (beverages), white (electronics, cable & wire), red, blue and green (Eggs). Specialty inks include UV fluorescent for security and pharmaceutical coding. Thermotropic ink (i.e. ink changes colour in the presence of steam at elevated temperature and are useful as sterilization indicators) for canning industry. (HA/HM free ink for Electronics industry), DFC for printing onto substrates that come into direct contact with food. Plastics range for difficult substrates, Low VOC for the US market.
Over the next few weeks we will be submitting a blog post on the main points to consider before you purchase a CIJ printer. This is part 3 of 10. To download the full guide click the download button below.