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  • UV ink ?

    With the Chinese shutting down production of precursors used for the production of photoinitiator its this the death blow to UV LED. Now the big question why promote UV led technology with only one producer of precursors. Without phtotinitiators UV does not dry.

  • #3
    Part 3

    If you have a large format inkjet printer that uses led uv inks conceivably the inks good be in very short supply if available at all.

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    • #4
      part 4

      The led uv technology was based on basically a single source supplier of the precursors and a single source supplier of TPO and TPO-L all based in China. With virtually no other sources of TPO an TPO-L any natural disaster or regulations or feed stock raw material disruption will collapse the whole chain. Which has happened.
      The toxicity of manufacturing the precursors and feed stocks as well as TPO and TPO-L is what kept them from being made any where else. Now that China has apparently enforced environmental regulations what country will step up an allow these chemicals to be manufactured. With very strict controls on manufacturing along with regulations it can be done.

      It will be years be any new chemicals can pass all of the required regulatrions for food safety and migration.

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      • #5
        DInk Man do you have any info on UV inks photoinitiators?

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        • #6
          i have to agree that having a single supplier for the raw material is bad. this is a temporary problem according to the articles right? based on your post it seemed like china decided to stop production forever. according to the articles it is due to an unrelated issue.

          so don't see how this is a death blow. definitely bad news for anyone using UV ink and should be a wake up call to remove this limitation.

          is there something about UV ink that you find inherently bad? even if supply was guaranteed are there reasons that you think UV ink should not be used?

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          • #7
            I think the problem was mainly with LED UV inks. Curing with led light is a tough problem since it is a source with limited wave length range. Maybe that is why the chemistry is critical and probably a problem for safety reasons.

            If one is printing on a web press, one can use EB (electron beam) inks. They have no photo-initiators and are more friendly for food packaging. I was involved with this technology as early as 1985 for food packaging printing.

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            • #8
              Originally posted by Green Printer View Post
              DInk Man do you have any info on UV inks photoinitiators?
              All I have heard is that they are in short supply, like everyone else. We have not experienced a shortage in our organization yet, but it could happen. D

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              • #9
                Originally posted by Erik Nikkanen View Post
                I think the problem was mainly with LED UV inks. Curing with led light is a tough problem since it is a source with limited wave length range. Maybe that is why the chemistry is critical and probably a problem for safety reasons.

                If one is printing on a web press, one can use EB (electron beam) inks. They have no photo-initiators and are more friendly for food packaging. I was involved with this technology as early as 1985 for food packaging printing.
                I have fair experience with flexo and inkjet UV inks (mercury lamps), i have done some research on LED and do understand the limitation due to the limited wave length range. im not sure that the TPO shortage only affects UV LED. Is there a specific article that mentioned the problem is mainly with LED UV inks?

                Food safety is definitely something to consider. In my experience with UV inks we did not print anything for food packaging.

                I am only familiar with EB inks by name. I did a quick search right now but I didn't find too much information. From what I understand the main limitation is the cost of EB curing systems. I also saw that size was initially a concern as well. It is surprising that the technology has been around so long and hasn't been more widely adopted. Is the x-ray concern one that is simple to resolve? Are the curing systems designed in a way that this risk is virtually eliminated?

                Does the cost of a curing system increase proportionally to the web width or is there an initial large cost that increases slightly as the web grows? I couldn't find any information on the speed that the ink can be cured. Can it be cured at the same speeds that solvent ink can dry, 1,300 ft/min range?

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by pushpixels View Post



                  I am only familiar with EB inks by name. I did a quick search right now but I didn't find too much information. From what I understand the main limitation is the cost of EB curing systems. I also saw that size was initially a concern as well. It is surprising that the technology has been around so long and hasn't been more widely adopted. Is the x-ray concern one that is simple to resolve? Are the curing systems designed in a way that this risk is virtually eliminated?

                  Does the cost of a curing system increase proportionally to the web width or is there an initial large cost that increases slightly as the web grows? I couldn't find any information on the speed that the ink can be cured. Can it be cured at the same speeds that solvent ink can dry, 1,300 ft/min range?
                  We were running at about 850 ft/min max but I suspect that they are much faster now. Yes, the systems are expensive but the price of the product printed justified the cost. I have no idea about the costs today but I suspect it has come down. It seems the systems are relatively smaller now.

                  To prevent x-ray exposure, the EB system is covered with lead and the path of the web through the system is not straight, so the rays can not get out. I don't think there are any EB units for sheetfed presses for this need to contain x-rays. There were also detectors that measured if x-rays were getting out.

                  These systems also required a nitrogen gas knife to blow oxygen off of the web surface because oxygen there affects cure. So large liquid nitrogen tanks were on site.


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                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Erik Nikkanen View Post

                    We were running at about 850 ft/min max but I suspect that they are much faster now. Yes, the systems are expensive but the price of the product printed justified the cost. I have no idea about the costs today but I suspect it has come down. It seems the systems are relatively smaller now.

                    To prevent x-ray exposure, the EB system is covered with lead and the path of the web through the system is not straight, so the rays can not get out. I don't think there are any EB units for sheetfed presses for this need to contain x-rays. There were also detectors that measured if x-rays were getting out.

                    These systems also required a nitrogen gas knife to blow oxygen off of the web surface because oxygen there affects cure. So large liquid nitrogen tanks were on site.

                    I had not read anything about nitrogen being required. That's a challenge as well. Good information, thank you.

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by pushpixels View Post

                      I had not read anything about nitrogen being required. That's a challenge as well. Good information, thank you.
                      I am assuming nitrogen is still required but maybe not. The use of nitrogen is related to the chemistry of the ink, which I think could bond to oxygen instead of to itself after being exited by the electron beam. Possibly now the chemistry is different and the nitrogen is not needed. I don't know.

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by Erik Nikkanen View Post

                        I am assuming nitrogen is still required but maybe not. The use of nitrogen is related to the chemistry of the ink, which I think could bond to oxygen instead of to itself after being exited by the electron beam. Possibly now the chemistry is different and the nitrogen is not needed. I don't know.
                        It looks like as of 2011 nitrogen was still required. I suspect it still is. This paper is about using UV and EB together, lowers the amount of photo initiators required and increases the press speed compare to UV alone. This would be quite an expensive system though. Good read so far.

                        http://www.radtech.org/images/pdf_up...summer2011.pdf

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                        • #14
                          another reason to avoid UV inks and photoinitiators.

                          They are associated with high blood pressure in adults and children.

                          All UV inks contain phthalates.

                          https://www.foodpackagingforum.org/n...blood-pressure

                          https://www.foodpackagingforum.org/n...re-in-children
                          Last edited by Green Printer; 05-28-2018, 08:27 PM.

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                          • #15
                            The fallout is beginning to happen. Ink manufacturers are scrambling for photo initiators.

                            https://www.inkworldmagazine.com/con...NTYwNzEwODM5S0

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