Here at Banner World, we have been using large format UV Printing technology from the very start. This article explains what UV Printing is, what it is capable of, and why it is so useful for our customers.
UV print technology or Ultra Violet printing uses specifically manufactured UV curing inks which allow us to print onto a wide range of roll and sheet materials. The ink consists of small polymers, monomers (light-weight molecules that fuse to form polymers) and initiators. Specially designed UV lights follow behind the printhead. When exposed to UV light the initiators (a catalyst) start a rapid chain reaction which causes polymerisation of the ink which drys and hardens almost instantly. Because the dots of ink put down by the printhead dry the instant that the UV lights are fired the ink doesn’t get the chance to run or spread out. This instant curing process gives extremely high-quality prints due to the fine detail of printed dots. UV inks benefit from high fade resistance. UV print inks are generally more environmentally friendly as they give off fewer gases during the print process. Prints harden during the print process so are much have a more durable surface.
UV light & heat
Because of the high-intensity UV light produced in the print process, the process creates a lot of heat. Heating a substate on one side can cause the material to warp under these conditions as one side is generally cooler than the other. Due to temperature differences warping is usually worse on thicker substrates. To overcome bending the material is clamped so it cannot lift. The print bed has suction holes, creating a vacuum underneath the substrate pulling it down, so avoiding any warping.
Ultra Violet / UV printed substrates
UV printers will print on to a wide variety of surfaces. These surfaces include plastics, metals, wood, ceiling tiles, glass, banner materials, rigid panels including Dibond, Correx, Perspex, Paper and Cardboard. The printed surface sits on top of the substrate and bonds to the face. The printed surface is generally slightly rough to the touch, and darker colours can feel slightly raised due to the higher ink coverage. There are many items not mentioned above because UV printing is so versatile it will adhere and print to most flat substrates.
Environmentally Friendly Printing
The UV Printing process is more environmentally friendly than Solvent Printing as it produces less VOC’s, odour and heat.
Frequently asked questions
Is an Ultra Violet print UV reactive, does it glow under UV light?
No. UV printing does not glow under UV light. The term UV printing is because the UV print process uses the UV light to cure the ink.
Do UV prints glow in the dark?
No. UV printing does not glow in the dark.
Does a UV print mean its fluorescent?
No. UV printing does is not fluorescent.
What are the Benefits of UV Printing?
- Fade-resistant prints
- High photographic quality due to high resolution
- Print onto sheet and roll materials
- No need for over-lamination
- Scratch-resistant printed surface
- More durable printed surface
- Environmentally friendly
Which Banner Worlds products are UV printed?
The following list are items that we print using the UV print method