Concave printing has caught the attention of the industry because of the numerous benefits it offers over most of the available printing options. The fact that the overall cost of printing using this technology is very low makes it popular. The quality of the print is good, making the printing method popular in the industry.
But the use of water-like ink is probably one of the most exciting features of concave printing. This type of ink comes with numerous benefits, such as improved quality print and ease of use. The level of wastage during printing is also significantly reduced. This means the overall cost of printing using this ink is quite low.
But to enjoy these and more benefits, there are several things you need to get right. That’s what we are looking at here. We have put together three factors that you cannot afford to forget when using water-like printing ink. Here are the three things you need to consider:
The making of the printing plate is one of the crucial factors that affect the use of water-like ink. For this type of concave printing, it uses a unique concave plate. These plates are made using electronic engraving or laser engraving technology. But there are other elements about these concave engraved plates. One of them is the size of the hole, and more so the depth. For the water-like ink to work, the net-hole depth on the plate should be 15-25um. The measurement means that the holes are shallower than the typical solvent ink plates.
The reason for shallower engraved holes is because of the use of tap water. Do note that the water boiling point is higher than most solvents. So, with the shallower holes, the printing speed is significantly improved. This means the choice of the plate is an important factor to consider. It must be engraved to produce the required image. Therefore, the making of the plate is something that you need to consider seriously to ensure quality printing.
2. Drying Equipment
The second thing you must have is drying equipment. This is a very important factor because the ink needs to be dried as soon as possible to retain high-quality printing. You don’t just need drying equipment, but you need to have a good one. The quality and effectiveness of the drying machine is something that you cannot compromise on. There are several things that you need to know about the drying equipment you need. One of them is the drying temperature. This is not a standard factor but is determined by a number of things, including the printing substrate and the amount of ink.
If you are using aluminum foil for printing, its drying temperature is usually around 100 degrees C. For plastic film printing, the drying temperature is around 50 and 60 degrees C. So, you need to start with the kind of materials you will be working on to get the right drying equipment. There are many options in the market, including ones with adjustable temperature feature. It is also important to check the strength of the wind for water-like ink as it should be stronger than that of solvent inks.
3. Surface Treatment
The last of the three points that you must get right with the concave printing water-like ink is the surface treatment. With this type of ink, the printing surface must be treated because of a number of factors. One of them is the surface pressure. The substrate surface pressure must be somewhere near the water’s surface pressure, which is around 0.072N/m. So, the film surface pressure must be somewhere above 0.04N/m. That’s because if the disparity is too huge, it will affect the quality of the printed ink.
The best surface treatment is electro-sparking. The treatment method helps to raise the surface pressure near to that of water. With that, the pressure of the ink and surface pressure of the film will be small. That’s how the quality of the print is achieved.
If planning to use concave printing water-based ink, these are the three main things you need to consider. Make sure that you have the right plates and the equipment to dry the ink. Lastly, make sure that the substrate surface has been treated to the right surface pressure before printing.