Superior protection, fantastic value, the ability to make images "pop" from the printed surface – is it any wonder UV coating is a popular choice for many packaging and printing applications? By harnessing the versatility of UV coating, you can create distinctive projects that your clients – and your budget – will love. Here are some tips for making the most of your next UV coating project.
Gloss or Satin?
Gloss — Gloss UV really lives up to its name by offering the highest gloss level of any type of coating. As with satin UV, gloss coating offers excellent rub-resistance and surface protection. Gloss coatings can also be applied to a range of consumer applications to create a visceral "scrub"-like texture.
Satin — This UV coating formula offers low light reflectance, giving pieces a "flat" appearance. Satin UV finishes are often used in combination with high-gloss UV formulas to create an eye-catching contrast.
Roller vs. Screen Applications
Roller Coating — Roller UV coating is a highly efficient UV coating application method that's ideal for flood (or all-over) coating projects. Roller coating methods also apply a smaller amount of coating to the printed surface, making this process ideal for wine labels, restaurant menus and other consumer products where subtlety may matter more than flash.
Screen Coating — Screen coating methods apply a thicker layer of UV coating to create an elegant look and unique texture. Consider this application for product packaging and direct mail pieces – any product that needs extra "pop" and maximum rub resistance.
Check back here next week for tips on managing the interactions between UV coating and other inks.
PS - Apex Die recently expanded its UV coating capabilities by installing a new Sakurai Maestro screen press ultraviolet (UV) coating system. Click here to read more.
Here are some ink considerations to keep in mind when planning your next UV coating project.
UV Coating with Conventional Inks Applying a UV coating over a conventional ink may prove problematic if projects aren't handled properly. If conventional ink does not have twenty-four hours to dry, gloss-back – a decrease in the surface gloss – often occurs. If you're using conventional inks, make sure they're free of waxes, anti-oxidants, and mineral oils – otherwise, the UV coating will have an "orange peel" appearance, adhesion problems and reduced scuff-resistance.
Keep Your Inks Dry Inks must be completely dry before UV Coating is applied. Normally, 24 to 48 hours should elapse before coating. If emulsified at all, additional time may be required to ensure their dryness. Additionally, if the job is to be coated on 2 sides, an extra day should be scheduled between the coating runs.
Other Considerations for UV Coating Projects
- A few specific ink formulas - such as reflex blue, rhodamine red and PANTONE purple inks - should not be used in conjunction with UV coating. The high alkaline content of these inks will cause "burn out" or noticeable fading once UV coating is applied.
- Press sheets should be free of offset powder to achieve the best UV coating results. Leftover powder can leave UV-coated sheets with an unwanted sandpaper texture or create a "crater" effect. Primer aqueous coating can be a great substitute for offset powder for UV coating applications.