With advancements in technology comes advancements in all industries. Luckily for us, the printing industry is one that has evolved with time as it continues to find more innovative technologies and efficient ways to improve the production process. One of the biggest advancements has been the invention of Latex Inks, which was launched by HP in 2008. Since then, they have continued to innovate and grow to be a leading competitor in the large format digital printing sector. Here you will learn what latex inks are and take an in depth look at what makes them more beneficial than the use of UV inks.
Latex Printing involves the process of inkjet printheads dispersing water based ink onto the substrate. It is then cured by using heat to evaporate the water, leaving behind the color pigments and latex particles to bond and preserve everything together.
UV printing involves curing the print with powerful UV lights immediately following the print head application. UV inks do not contain water and are instead made up of photo-initiators that react with monomers and polymerize when exposed to UV lighting.
Latex printing allows you to print at a higher resolution, resulting in a vibrant photo-realistic finish. Latex printing also prints at 30% wider color gamut which translates to higher saturated colors. In UV printing, the curing process results in a matte finish, as where latex printing preserves and mimics the surface of the substrate. If the material surface starts with a gloss finish, it will remain glossy, and the same applies to substrates that start with a matte finish.
Latex inks are made up of 60% water and the rest consists of latex particles and pigments. This makes for a more environmentally friendly product. UV Inks contain harmful chemicals making them hazardous and need to be closely controlled. Latex ink is packaged with recyclable materials and does not need to carefully disposed as “Hazardous Waste". The eco-friendly advantages of Latex Inks makes for a safer work place, as where UV ink can be harmful in poorly ventilated indoor settings.
With up to 160% flexibility strength, Latex Ink stretches with the substrate to avoid any cracking or chipping of the ink’s surface. This is the ideal choice for flexible substrates such as styrene, vinyl banners, custom decals, and vinyl car wraps. Latex Inks also perform against scratches and other forms of distress to the surface. UV printing is different in this regard as it does not have the same flexibility and can easily chip or crack the finished surface when bent.
Latex printing eliminates several extra steps that are present in the UV printing process. HP Latex printers have a built in and automatic self-cleaning system. These printers require nothing more than the occasional replacement of a cartridge. This makes operating the machines more seamless and leads to a much more efficient production process.
Latex printing provides the best white on the market. HP is the industry leader in white ink as it does not turn yellow due to extensive outdoor exposure. UV printing involves a lot of maintenance running white ink such as constant purging and unclogging of the inkjet. UV printing also wastes a fair amount of ink as where latex wastes zero ink and is easier to maintain.
Here at Printmoz we have taken part in these innovative tactics and have fully equipped our facility and staff with the latest and greatest tools needed to produce our products at an unbeatable standard. With the help of HP we can take our quality to the next level and provide our customers with the best quality in the industry. Take part in our advancements and order a print today to see first hand the stunning quality that is now being produced in our facilities.