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Mixing bigger silver flakes in with offset varnish or ink

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  • Mixing bigger silver flakes in with offset varnish or ink

    Anyone have experience mixing bigger silver flakes in with offset varnish or ink?

    If you buy silver flakes for screen printing and mix it with clear screen printing varnish/ink and print it you would get a nice silver metallic sparkle for your letters or graphics. But what would happen if you mixed these flakes in with offset varnish and put it on the press?

    Would it not make it through the rollers or not print?

    Would it not stick to the paper?

    Would the flakes wreck your rollers?

    Or would it make it to the paper but the metallic layer would be so thin you would not have enough density?

    The issue with silver offset ink is that the silver particles are so small you don't get a metallic sparkle. But with bigger flakes you do.

    Anyone with experience that can respond to these questions? I am interested why people dont do this and am trying to figure out the many different reasons.

  • #2
    We did this using our press coater with a high volume 40 bcm Anilox roller.

    Large metal flake particles wont transfer in a offset press roller train and could end up destroying the rubber.

    We had to use a Peristaltic pump to supply the metalic mixture to the unit and keep it constantly agitated.

    Litho sucks at printing large metalic particles through the rollers and using fountain solution also reduces the metalic effect. Silk Screen is the best method followed by gravure follwed by Flexo with offset coming in last.

    You must also use a special carbon tipped doctor blade if you use an anilox method as the large particles wear out a regullar blade in about 5 minutes.


    • #3

      That’s some pretty cool stuff you’re doing there. Such an interesting post, and I had absolutely no idea. These are the types of things that separate the printing trade craft from the printing trade science. IMO, they are two very different things.


      • #4
        the use of different pigment sizes pose more problems namely transfer and lay the better technology is around a "non Leafing" metallic ink . Non Leafing and leafing offers better reflective properties


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