What is UV Printing?
Ultraviolet (UV) printing is a form of digital printing that uses ultra-violet lights to dry or cure ink as it is printed. As the printer distributes ink on the surface of a material (called a "substrate"), specially designed UV lights follow close behind, curing or drying the ink instantly.
What is difference between UV Printing and traditional Solvent Printing?
The main difference between UV printing and solvent printing is that ink is cured through a photomechanical process rather than evaporating solvents into the air. There are no solvents used this system produces no dangerous VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds), requires no ventilation, has a higher percentage of recyclable content, and cuts cost because of reduced drying time.
Why we choose UV printing? (The benefits of UV LED print technology)
Wide-format printers equipped with UV LED lamps provide a number of unique economical, ecological and business-generating benefits:
1) A broader scope of print applications
LEDs are cool to the touch and have minimal heat output, which is why they allow for a broader scope of print applications. They enable you to print on heat-sensitive substrates such as thin slides, self-adhesive sheets or stretched PVC materials, for example. Limited heat generation also enables very stable calibration.
2) Faster operations, higher productivity
LED lamps can be switched on and off instantly, without any degradation of intensity. That means there is no lamp warm-up time or delay for shutter motion. The result? Faster operations and higher productivity. No need for operators to wait before they can start working.
3) Highly durable
LEDs are highly durable, lasting for 10,000 hours. They generate a consistent output throughout their lifespan with no lamp change downtime or any consumable lamp costs. As less heat is dissipated from a LED lamp, it is easier to keep the media flat under the shuttle. This eliminates head crashes and thus less need for rework that would waste media and ink. In addition, a LED system contains fewer parts that might require replacement, such as shutters and mirrors.
4) Significant energy savings
LEDs have a lower energy consumption than the mercury bulb lamps, which leads to significant power savings.
As UV LED lamps don’t contain mercury, there is no need for mercury disposal or any related costs. Also, LEDs don’t produce ozone gas that needs to be extracted by ventilation.
Do we need to use a different printhead for UV printing?
Some wide-format printers provide UV option, such as HP Designjet 5000/5500 Printer Series. The modular ink system has two interchangeable ink sets. Users may choose from dye-based inks or pigment-based UV inks. The indoor dye inks provide photo-realistic image quality and the outdoor UV inks ensure enhanced light fastness. Anytime you switch ink from UV to DYE or DYE to UV, you need to replace all six ink tanks, the ink tube assembly and all six printheads.