Material Science

Increasing Your Flexo Press Speed a Notch or Two

Most flexo presses producing packaging run in the range of 300-1,000 fpm. Occasionally, a few customers want to increase their press speeds still further.

UV-Curable Jet Inks Are We There Yet?

Ultraviolet-curable inks and coatings have been used in packaging for 30 years. From their humble beginnings in the early 1970s, they now hold significant

What Is the Role of Tack in Printing Inks?

Since the earliest attempts at transferring ink from one surface to another, the characteristics of a printing ink have been an important factor in print

A Lesson in Amines Used in Water-Based Products

One of the key ingredients of many water-based inks and coatings are amines. Amines and ammonia are used in water-based products to control pH required

Redefining Plasticizers in Inks and Coatings

The dictionary defines plasticizers as any of various substances added to plastics or other materials to keep them soft or pliable. For the purpose of

History, Shellfish, Royalty, and the Color Purple

Understanding color is one of the keys to success in the printing industry. It also can be very interesting history. A dictionary defines purple as any

Focus on Crosslinking in Fluid Ink Systems

Crosslinkers are an important class of additives ink and coating formulators use to enhance properties. These materials must be selected carefully to

When R&D Is the Task, A Military Approach May Be Best

Like many others, I served in the US Army. Although I did not see any live action during the Viet Nam era, I did learn many useful procedures in the Army

Antioxidants, Oxygen Scavengers, Free Radicals, and Packaging

Elemental oxygen exists in two allotropic forms: as an invisible gas composed of two oxygen atoms; and as a perceptibly blue form composed of three oxygen

Food Packaging and Safety: 9/11 Continues to Resonate

It goes without saying the way we do business has changed since September 11. The destruction of the Twin Towers and the bioterroristic use of anthrax

How Do You Measure Ink Film Thickness? Count the Ways

Almost every day I receive questions relating to ink or coating thickness determination. You would think it would be a simple matter, but it is not. Ink

Dealing with Ink Adhesion on High-Slip Films

One of the most common problems with printing high-slip films is poor ink adhesion. Such films have low surface energies, and the levels of slip additives

Perhaps It's Time to Redefine Packaging Odor Specs

Printing and laminating of flexible packaging materials may involve the use of various inks, coatings, and adhesives. These materials inherently contain

A Brief Chemistry Lesson On Printing Ink Pigments

I have received various inquiries about pigments and pigment chemistry. I will try to answer a few of these questions as they relate to package printing

Making Choices for Coating with a Laminating Adhesive

Work, like life, is full of choices. Some are major; some are the kind we face every day. Converters laminating two substrates together using an adhesive

Electronic Ink Technology: New Players Aid Progress

Not only will these electronic inks be used on paper, but they can be printed and laminated to create many packaging products. More than a year ago, I

Assessing the Potential for Ink Transfer and Migration

Potential transfer…depends on many factors, such as degree of cure, ink adhesion, pressure between cups, length of time in contact, etc.

Antimicrobial Additives and Coatings for Food Packaging

It seems as if every day we hear of some incident associated with food contamination. Recent outbreaks of contamination associated with meat products

Jet Inks, Colorants, and Packaging What's Ahead?

The rapid growth of ink jet technology in various printing sectors forecasts their use in package printing. However, use of ink jet printing in packaging

Water-Based Ink Adhesion and Web Temperature

Unlike solvent-based inks where binders are dissolved in the ink solvents, water-based inks comprise several binders, none of which are soluble in water.

Odd Shape? Odd Substrate? You Might Try Pad Printing

Although this column primarily covers conventional printing processes, I do occasionally receive questions about processes that are less common, such

Assessing Inks, Dealing with DigitalThe NPIRI Conference

The National Printing Ink Research Institute (NPIRI) held its 44th Technical Conference in October in Pine Mountain, GA. The well-attended event included

Looking for Good Technical Talent? So Is Everyone Else

It's an old cliche that "good help is hard to find," but certainly it is applicable to the current technical job market. Extremely low unemployment rates,

The Formation of ''Microfoam'' in Water-Based Flexo Inks

If you bubble air into water, the foam bubbles produced rupture rapidly, and the water surface layer becomes flat. However, if you add a small amount

Estimating the Drying Rate of Flexo Ink in the Laboratory

One reason the drying rate of flexo inks has become an important subject is the general trend toward the use of thinner ink films. In the narrow web sector,

What Is the Role of Additives in Water-Based Inks?

The performance of water-based inks in flexographic printing is, to a large degree, based on additives that are incorporated into the ink to optimize

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