UV printing, as the name suggests, uses ultraviolet light to harden the ink. Until recently, this technology was used primarily in nail lamps – it significantly accelerated the process of drying of the varnish. Today, it is also gaining popularity in other areas of industry, such as printing. How does it work?
The whole process works as follows: the printer spreads a layer of ink on the material, which is immediately fixed by lamps with UV light mounted on the head. In this way, there is no need to worry about droplets splashing to the side and soiling the substrate or making the design unclear.
Advantages of UV printing
The biggest advantage of this type of printing is that… it doesn’t have too many disadvantages. For this reason, it is increasingly being used to create advertising pieces. Here are the most frequently mentioned advantages.
Freedom of material
The only limitation to consider with UV printing is that printers require a flat substrate of a specific thickness (depending on the model of the machine). Other than that, the limits are practically non-existent. The design can be printed on glass, wood, leather, paper, plastic, acrylic and many other materials. This is a huge plus in case of advertising gadgets, which often differ significantly from each other in form.
The use of ultraviolet light to harden the ink makes the print extremely durable and thus resistant to weather conditions. It is not affected by rain, wind or low/high temperature. Additionally, it fades much slower.
Intense colors and clear details
A common practice with UV printing is to apply a layer of white ink underneath the actual design so that the colors become much more intense. And the instant curing mentioned earlier ensures that the small parts of the graphic don’t blend together, guaranteeing clarity.
The preparation time for a UV printed advertising piece is much shorter than with traditional methods. Firstly, the design is printed directly onto the material, and secondly, it does not need time to dry, which speeds up the whole process considerably.
No harmful substances or odors are released during ultraviolet printing, so this method is completely safe for humans and the environment. This is due to the use of pigment inks (solvent-free) instead of solvent-based inks.
So as you can see, using UV printing is a modern way of creating durable advertising elements. The more so as it does not require ordering large quantities – it enables you to print even one piece freely.
Disadvantages of UV printing
Currently the only disadvantage that customers can point out is the price. For the time being this type of printing costs quite a lot, but the growing popularity of ultraviolet printers will probably soon minimize this cost. For manufacturers, the disadvantage may be the machines, whose large size requires a lot of storage space.
Image: Lennert Naessens/unsplash.com