TECHNICAL INFO




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Formulation
Flexo and Gravure inks are formulated from the following components:
Components
Content
Principal functions
Solvents
50 – 75%
Volatile organic products used to solubilise the polymers. Principal families: alcohols, esters, ketones, glycols and water.
Cellulosic, vinylic,
acrylic and polyamide
polymers
15 – 30%
Constituents of the binder (solvent + polymer) that largely determines the adhesion on substrates, the gloss and the mechanical, physical and chemical properties of the ink.
Organic or mineral
pigments

Organic colorants
8 – 20%
Pigments chosen as a function of the binder and the fastnesses required by the application. Constituents that enable intense and very transparent inks to be obtained.
Additives
 
 
3 – 5%
Products that confer specific properties to the ink such as rheology, adhesion, rub and scratch resistance, anti-foaming effect, etc.
Typical Flexo – Gravure ink formulation
Principal polymers

In water based inks, two types of acrylic polymers are used:
• Polymers in emulsion or dispersion, which improve the drying, gloss, adhesion and
water resistance of inks.
• Polymers in solution, which improve pigment wetting and make re-solubilising
and cleaning easier.

In solvent based inks, the various families of polymers cited above are used singly
or as mixtures, depending on the application and the final properties required of the
print.
Principal solvents

Names
Evaporation
index
Flash point
(°C)
Risks
Petroleum spirit C
2
- 20
F
Ethanol 95
8.3
13
F
Ethanol 99
8.3
13
F
Isopropanol
10
12
F
n-Propanol
11
14
F
Secondary butanol
33
24
F, X Harmful
Ethyl acetate
2.9
- 4
F
Isopropyl acetate
4.2
7
F
Methoxy propanol
acetate
43
54
F
Ethoxy propanol
33
42
F
Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK)
3.3
- 4
F, X Irritant
Methyl isobutyl ketone
(MIBK)
2
14
F, X Harmful
Cyclohexanone
40
43
F, X Harmful
Monopropylene glycol
-
107

The solvent is chosen as a function of the application, the desired drying speed and the type of polymers used. The lower the evaporation index (ether = 1), the more volatile the solvent and the faster the drying speed.
The flash point is the minimum temperature at which the solvent can ignite in the presence of a heat source (spark, naked flame, etc.).
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