OFFSET COATING: ACRYLIC OR UV? PROS AND CONS
The application of coating, or varnish, at the end of the printing process protects the printed sheet and is thus mandatory in packaging.
The application of coating, or varnish, at the end of the printing process protects the printed sheet and is thus mandatory in packaging; but there are choices to make. First of all, the coating (or varnish) type: acrylic or UV?
Acrylic, or aqueous or water-base, coatings dry up fast (using an infrared oven) and offer an excellent, long-lasting result. They grants shine to the printed sheet and the colours become more durable. The level of shine depends on the use of matte or glossy coatings; the range of coatings available in the market keeps developing on and on, to include satin, soft touch, pencil receptive aqueous coatings, and many more. Last, but not least: acrylic coatings are water based, which means that they are “green” and environmental friendly.
On the other hand, there are very good reasons for using UV coatings. First, it gives the best shine: colours look so bright that they “come out” of the paper, ready to catch attention. Besides, UV coatings are stronger and more durable than aqueous coatings, they are water-resistant and lasts long enough even outdoor. Yet, UV coatings require a specific drying process, performed by a UV oven, to cure and harden the coating instantly. More important, its impact on the environment is much bigger: UV varnishes contain not only polyethylene, which cannot be recycled when combined with paper, but also benzophenone (or alike chemical) – based photoinitiators, that are hazardous for the health and are not fit for food or skin contact. Like acrylic, also UV coatings are available in a wide range: glossy, matte, pearlescent and even orange peel.
The choice of the coating to use goes hand in hand with the choice of the varnishing plate, that must suit the coating characteristics. In the development of our range of varnishing plates, that cover all the market needs, we have focussed in particular on the segment of acrylic, or water-base varnishing plates, as we want to give priority to the development of solutions that help our customers protect the environment.