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UV-Curable Ink: How Does it Work and Why is it So Popular?

UV-Curable Ink: How Does it Work and Why is it So Popular?

UV ink applications are becoming increasingly popular option for wide format printers. Although the name might sound quite exotic, the technology is simple and offers a wide variety of benefits over more traditional alternatives. In this blog we take a look at how UV-curable inks work, and the benefits they bring to a growing number of customers. 


What is UV-Curable Ink? 

UV curable inks are specially formulated inks which, once printed onto a substrate, are dried onto the surface with intense UV light. Instead of heat, UV light dries the ink and it only takes a split second.

The UV light is normally built into the printing mechanism so that as soon as the printhead deposits the ink onto the substrate, the UV light meets the printed design to cure it instantly.

The method dramatically improves physical properties, meaning your printed media will be shown off with an improved high definition finish.


UV-Curable Ink Applications

UV-Curable inks are particularly useful for printing onto various substrates with reduced drying times and high quality finishes:

  • Flexographic Printing: UV curable inks are particularly useful for printing applications in high-speed environments such as creating labels or packaging items. A flexible plate is able to transfer the image to the substrate which is cured instantly using UV light.
  • Signage: UV curable inks are a great solution for creating signage and digital graphics on atypical and unusual substrates.
  • Personalisation: The fast drying time of UV curable inks means it is possible to print high quality digital images onto a variety of personalised items such as glass bottles, phone cases, golf balls, keyrings and more.
  • Backlit Films: A UV printer can create film or fabric that is designed to be backlit. This is useful for menus, signage, wall art, advertising posters, billboards, and more. Ink is fade and moisture resistant for lasting effects. 

The Benefits of UV-Curable Ink


UV-Curable ink technology bring a range of benefits over other alternatives. Here are a few:

  • Production Speed: The UV light cures the inks as soon as the paper leaves the printhead, meaning the ink is dried instantly and has no risk of smearing or smudging.

  • Colour Quality: UV inks don't have a solvent that is evaporated, so 100% of the ink deposit is colourant. They sit on the surface as opposed to absorbing into the material which results in a more intense colour. UV inks also have good light fastness, which boosts their readability.

  • ResilientUV inks are smearing resistant, which results in crisper and more professional finishes. UV inks are able to maintain a high consistency of print, so the print job of the whole run will look the same without fading.

  • Ink Stability: UV ink doesn’t readily dry when exposed to air, so you won’t see ejection misalignment caused by ink drying on the nozzle surfaces. And, because the paper transport technology is identical to that of an offset press, you’ll see reliable and stable paper handling throughout the paper path.

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How can needham ink tech help?

In a competitive industry where your reputation depends on the quality of your work and the speed of turnarounds, these benefits of UV-curable inks can make you stand out from the crowd. 

We are able to develop and manufacture a wide range of OEM compatible inks, with 60 years of experience in the research, design and manufacture of high quality, British-made ink products. We can guarantee that our OEM compatible solutions will save you money without any cost to quality.

In need of something a bit more bespoke? Not a problem! Our in-house team of chemists are able to research and develop wide format inkjet inks specific to your requirements.


Contact us for any enquiries:

Call: +44(0)1948 662629




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