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Ink Technologist Series: Formulating Approaches for Narrow Web Flexo Inks

SpecialChem / Terence Kenneth & Terence Kenneth – Jan 9, 2012

Narrow web flexo printing is a growing segment of today's printing industry. It is commonly used to print labels, sleeves and other materials that don't require the quantity or investment of wide web printing. The other advantage of narrow web printing is that it gives the user more flexibility when it comes to making small changes to an existing design, such as including a seasonal promotion or adding more varieties to an established brand. In this article we’re going to focus on what it takes to compose several useful formulations for narrow web flexo printing. One of the biggest differences you'll encounter with formulations for narrow web printing is the use of and reliance on reducing varnishes, ink mediums (sometimes referred to as extenders, mixing varnishes or mixing "white") and other additives. In conventional wide web printing we add the ink to the ink pan, thin it down with the desired solvent or water and away we go. Well, OK, things don't always go quite so easily, but for narrow web printing we typically require a more sophisticated approach to managing the ink. It is not uncommon to find the narrow web printer making many adjustments to the ink in order to get it running right. The table below illustrates the requirements for different situations.

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