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FLEXO Magazine : February 2009
TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES WORKING WITH WATER Water-based inks are going to be similar, but there are a couple of other things you need to look for. Viscosity, again, is important. But before you check that, you need to check pH. The acrylic resins that are used in water-based inks are pH sensitive. If you don't have the appropriate pH level, your acrylic resins will go back to solid states. So even if you get your viscosity down, the amines will evaporate off, the acrylic resins will crystallize inside of the system as they revert back to their hard resin state, and you are going to lose proper ink transfer. It will be like printing with Jell-G. The ink is not in a homogenous state. You have to check that the pH is between 9.2 and 9.6 to ensure that the resins are completely dissolved. You can then adjust your viscosity with a solution that is the same pH as your ink. You can get by with just water if you have a pH on the high range-9.6 to 9.8. But the pH of water will vary all over the country. Also, only using water will change the balance of the ink formulation, as it doesn't contain the other components (not including pigment). Plain water, hav- ing typically a pH around 7.0, will, on its own, further reduce the pH of the ink leading to the reverting of the resins. I recommend mixing something with the water that will make the pH the same as the ink. Some companies use a lo-percent solution of ammonia. You can also use special additives that some ink companies offer that are solutions of ammonia, as opposed to having a gas in water. Whatever product you use, I recommend getting the water up to the 9.4 pH so that you are never lowering If you don't have the appropriate pH level, your acrylic resins will go back to solid states... It will be like printing with Jell-D. If you change your viscosity by five seconds, at 300fpm you are going to lose color. Optimize Your Color Gamut with CRI's TrueColorBalance™ Better Process Control TrueColorBalance™ is a unique color management system that helps achieve the largest possible color gamut in the visible color spectrum when printing with process inks. CRI's technical specialists combine custom formulated ink chemistries with color management expertise to optimize your process colors to a neutral gray. TrueColorBalanceTM gives your operators and pre-press suppliers a precise target for process image reproduction, resulting in reduced waste, shorter setup times, lower ink costs and no more color toning on press. CRI's TrueColorBalanceTMis compatible with FIRST 4.0. <+> 't" Request a no obligation consultation from a CRI technical specialist. CRI I Color Resolutions International The formula for printing success www.colorresolutions.com 800.346.8570
Sustainable Winter 2009