Openair-Plasma® ensures adhesion and color brilliance in UV digital printing

Ideal conditions for UV digital printing on elastomers

UV digital printing offers many advantages which make it an increasingly popular option in industrial printing processes. These include its process speed and ability to handle both high and low-volume production runs and personalized custom prints (see video) quickly and affordably.

Openair-Plasma® creates the ideal conditions for UV digital printing entirely without the need for additional adhesion promoters – even with water-based inks. Complete wettability of the printing surface is essential for the effective adhesion of solvent-free inks. Openair-Plasma® achieves this level of wettability through the highly effective microfine cleaning and activation of the surface to ensure long-time stable print adhesion.

Plasma activation increases the surface energy of the substrate by making elastomers such as soft PVC and PUR, thermoplastics such as PC, PE and PP and other non-polar plastics polar. Homogenous surface wettability is of paramount importance for printing processes such as UV inkjet digital printing, where the end result is largely determined by the way in which ink droplets strike the substrate and spread.

The resulting print adhesion is considerably enhanced compared with untreated substrates. The imprint is significantly more wear- and moisture-resistant. The printed image itself has an impressive level of sharpness and color brilliance.

On the ball
Rotary plasma ensures the adhesion of UV inkjet digital printing on free-form objects


PlasmaPlus® Print coating optimizes UV digital printing on uncoated glass

Printed glass offers a wealth of design options for both interior and exterior use. Custom-printed elements in particular are becoming increasingly popular. However, the environmentally friendly, solvent-free, water-based ink systems used often cause adhesion problems on uncoated glass.

Plasmatreat has developed the PlasmaPlus® Print coating process specifically for printing uncoated float glass with water-soluble inks and solvent-free UV ink systems. The functional, transparent nanocoating does not impair the transparency of the glass, but significantly improves the adhesion, scratch resistance and moisture resistance of UV inks in digital printing.

Creating optimal surface characteristics for the use of printed glass in kitchens, bathrooms and outdoor areas exposed to the weather.

The application of the plasma coating to the substrate immediately before printing eliminates the priming that was normally required. The process produces sharp contours, durable printing results and outstanding color brilliance on both small and large surfaces.

Benefits of plasma treatment for UV digital printing:

  • increased sharpness and resolution of the printed image
  • increased color brilliance and intensity
  • extremely durable: improved adhesion equates to enhanced moisture and scratch resistance
  • significant savings on inks/raw materials

Benefits of plasma technology for the printing process:

  • high process reliability and reproducibility
  • dry in-line process: easy to automate
  • microfine cleaning (no particle contamination) and simultaneous activation
  • suitable for small and large surfaces
  • cold process: no thermal input
  • versatile: suitable for pretreating flat materials and three-dimensional objects
  • environmentally friendly: runs on compressed air, no VOC emissions
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Related press articles

“Mass-production, individually designed” – Plasma in UV inkjet digital printing

WORLD OF PRINT (10/2017)
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“On the ball”: Rotary plasma ensures adhesion in UV digital printing

KUNSTSTOFFE international (6-7/2017)
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A Question of Surface Energy – plasma in industrial printing

ISP (Industrial + Specialty Printing 2013/5)
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