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FLEXO Magazine : November 2009
and Components of Ink Maintaining ink balance on press throughout a production run is critical for a successful and repro- ducible outcome. Ink chemistry balance determines color, transfer, and laydown characteristics, as well as drying, trapping, and end-use performance. This section explains the components of ink and each component's function. The components of ink can be generically described as: Ink = Pigment + Vehicle Vehicle = Resin + Solvent + Additives Generally, the pigments and additives are not system dependent. With some exceptions, the same pigments and additives can be used across ink systems---water, solvent and UV/EB. The resin and solvent systems ARE ink system dependent. FIRST 4.0 describes the general components of ink across the board. It is extremely important to understand the specific characteristics of the ink systems that you are using based on the manufacturers recommendations. The solvents and additives play a significant part in the on-press performance and each ink manufacturer balances these slightly different. You should never assume that you could maintain two separate ink systems the same way. TEST recommends that, for the best performance, you consult with the ink manufacturers of all systems being used. For more information, see Section 21.2.1 (Page 213) of FIRST 4.0. The Keys to Flexographic Excellence What is FIRST The intention of FIRST is to provide all participants in the flexographic reproduction process with a common set of guidelines, tutorials and data that can be used as communication and production tools. The aim of FIRST is to create a common set of specifications and communication protocols for the industry. This platform should es- tablish common communication and identify the responsibility of the provider(s). To order FIRST, call 631-737-6020 or visit www.ftastore.com. What is TEST TEST is the educational arm of the Flexographic Technical Association. The aim of TEST is to align all of the training materials available through the FTA with the guidelines, tutorials and data identified in FIRST. TEST is focused on implementing new learning methodologies to reach out to a larger portion of the FTA membership. For more information on TEST, visit www.flexography.org.
Sustainable Fall 2009